WILLIAMSTOWN – West Virginia National Guard Company C, 2-104th General Support Aviation Battalion, Aeromedical Evacuation Company, received its first of six new HH-60Ms “Mike” model Black Hawk helicopters at Army Aviation Support Facility 1 Williamstown. Built by Sikorsky Aircraft for the United States Army, the HH-60M model is specifically designed to support MEDEVAC medical and ambulatory patient air transport services, such as evacuation of wounded troops from the battlefield in severe weather conditions. difficult, day and night.
“The Mike model is a 30-year leap in technology with several improvements to existing Black Hawk designs”, State Aviation Officer Lt. Col. Harold Nicely said. “The new aircraft has a fully digitized cockpit. Traditional gauges have been replaced with four multi-function displays for better situational awareness. It is also equipped with dual digital flight control computer, moving map, storm bezel and radio systems and GPS/inertial navigation system. All of these features contribute to making the Model Mike the most advanced military air ambulance helicopter platform in service.
The HH-60M is equipped with two T700-GE-701E engines equipped with full-authority digital engine control that increase helicopter performance, including power, cruise speed, rate of climb, capacity lift and autonomy. The HH-60M is also equipped with an improved durability gearbox as well as newly designed composite rotor blades. The aircraft comes with an improved forward-looking infrared radar and external hoist which makes this Black Hawk a better fit than the current UH-60L. “Lima” helicopters not only for MEDEVAC missions, but also for search and rescue and swift water rescue missions. The helicopter can fly at a speed of 140.7 kilometers per hour with a range of 275.2 nautical miles. This range can be further increased by fitting an external fuel system with a capacity of 400 gallons. The helicopter’s empty weight is 14,470 pounds and the maximum gross hover weight out of ground effect is 21,414 pounds. However, the most important new features of the HH-60M are inside the airframe. The upgraded interior is designed with a medical evacuation mission equipment kit and an integrated vehicle health management system, making the helicopter a true dedicated air ambulance. The helicopter has onboard oxygen generation capability, as well as a reconfigurable interior with spans to carry six patients along with the crew and on-board doctors. Although the HH-60M’s primary mission is MEDEVAC, it can also be easily tasked with personnel transport, search and rescue, resupply, aerial reconnaissance, cargo transport, and fire suppression missions. of forest, making it a real versatile aerial asset. . The HH-60M is flown by a pilot, a co-pilot, a crew chief and a flight doctor. It can accommodate up to 11 soldiers. The pilots and command management are delighted to receive the new aircraft.
“The new HH-60M airframe increases our ability to support emergency response missions throughout West Virginia, the rest of the country, and during overseas deployments,” said Major Ryan Wolfe, commanding officer of Co. C, 2-104th GASB. “It’s the best aircraft the US military has to offer, and it dramatically improves our ability to treat patients and fly safely, even in the harshest environments.”
The unit has already started training on the new aircraft and is expected to have all six within the next year. Pilots will need to complete a six-week instruction course to familiarize themselves with all of the HH-60M’s upgraded avionics and flight control systems in order to be certified on the new aircraft.