Yup, the Air Force’s fleet of 93 HH-60 Pave Hawk combat search and rescue helicopters will only be ready to fly missions 50 percent of the time by 2015, according to service brass.
Only 93 of the remaining fleet of 99 Sikorsky HH-60G search and rescue helicopters are flyable. They are soldiering on despite major cracks in 66 of the airframes. The aircraft have a mission capable rate of 60%, but that is expected to fall to 50% by 2015.
That’s from Flight Global citing Air Force Maj. Gen. Robert Kane’s testimony before lawmakers this week.
The service has been trying to replace the heavily-used Pave Hawk fleet for years (CSAR-X, anyone?). We’ll see what happens with its latest effort, dubbed the combat rescue helicopter, given the huge budget cuts that are on the way.