Skip to main content
  1. News
  2. Science & Space

Air Force orders new rescue helicopter

See also

The U.S. Air Force awarded a $1.3-billion contract to Sikorsky Aircraft June 26 to develop a new combat search-and-rescue helicopter called the CRH-60.

The contract also includes the first four helicopters that will be built for the program. The Air Force ultimately plans to buy a total of 112 aircraft, which could boost the contract’s total value to $7.9 billion.

The CRH-60 will replace the Air Force’s aging HH-60 Pave Hawk helicopter, which entered service in 1982 and has been credited with rescuing thousands of people.

“Over the last 10 years, the Air Force has discussed upgrading the platform that performs this sacred mission for all Department of Defense personnel who go into harm’s way,” Air Force Secretary Deborah Lee James said. “This mission is part of the military ethos, and the Air Force is committed to providing it.”

The new personnel-recovery helicopter will be based on the UH-60M Black Hawk. Sikorsky has delivered more than 700 H-60M Black Hawks to the U.S. government and foreign militaries since 2007.

Sikorsky, based in Stratford, Conn., was the only company that submitted a bid in response to the Air Force solicitation for the new program. Its team includes Lockheed Martin as the major subsystems supplier.

The program enjoys strong Capitol Hill support. In December 2013, 74 House members sent a letter to Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel urging that he fund the new helicopter.

But financial hurdles remain. James warned in March that the program could be in jeopardy if deep federal budget cuts known as sequestration return next year.



  • Baseball Hall of Fame
    The Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown welcomes six new inductees
  • 2012 do-over
    If we were to re-do the 2012 election, a new poll suggests Romney would win
  • Boko Haram
    Boko Haram kidnaps the wife of the vice prime minister of Cameroon
    World News
  • Ceasefire breaks
    Israel's Benjamin Netanyahu claims Hamas broke another brief ceasefire
  • Close call with CME
    Scientists tell how Earth survived a giant solar flare back in 2012
  • Comic-Con
    What's going on at Comic-Con? Get all the latest updates here