Nov. 6 (UPI) -- The first two of an expected 112 HH-60W "Jolly Green II" helicopters arrived at Moody Air Force Base, Ga., this week, the Air Force announced.
The aircraft were flown from Lockheed Martin's Sikorsky Training Academy in Stuart, Fla., by Moody's 41st Rescue Squadron and the 413th Flight Test Squadron and 88th Test and Evaluation Squadron, both from Duke Field, Fla.
The HH-60W is an improved variant of the combat-proven UH-60M Black Hawk helicopter, and will eventually replace the HH-60G Pave Hawk medium-lift, combat search-and-rescue helicopter, which entered service in 1982.
Ordered in 2014, the new helicopter is designed for deployment in casualty evacuation, medical evacuation, non-combatant evacuation missions, civil search-and-rescue, humanitarian aid, disaster relief, and insertion or extraction of combat forces.
Notably, it has a fuel system which nearly doubles the capacity of its internal tank, allowing for extended range and capability for rescues on the battlefield.
The modified helicopter also features improved defensive systems, hover performance, electrical capacity, avionics, cooling, cybersecurity and weapons capability.
Sikorsky was awarded the contract to develop the aircraft in a $1.28 billion deal.