Jolly Green II, AH-64D complete first combined test mission

Sikorsky’s HH-60W Jolly Green II – the USAF’s newest combat search and rescue (CSAR) helicopter – has completed its first combined test mission with a US Army Boeing AH-64D Apache Longbow.

The flight was staged from Eglin Air Force Base (AFB), Florida, and marked the first time that the Jolly Green II had flown with the US Army’s attack helicopter. The Apache – which was used to conduct system testing with the HH-60W – came from the Redstone Army Test Center in Alabama.

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A Sikorsky HH-60W Jolly Green II taxis on to the flightline, followed by a US Army Boeing AH-64D Apache Longbow at Eglin AFB on May 19. USAF/Samuel King Jr

Christopher Martin, lead test engineer for the 413th Flight Test Squadron (FLTS), said: “The unique configuration of the AH-64 Apache gave our team the opportunity to test [the] capabilities of the HH-60W in ways normally not possible here… Tests like these will ensure the Jolly Green II will be able to perform its critical [CSAR] mission when fielded in the joint warfighting environment.”

This joint-service test effort marks the passing of another successful milestone for the HH-60W’s development this year, after it completed extreme environment, communications and defence system testing.

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The Jolly Green II parks up alongside the Apache Longbow. USAF/Samuel King Jr

Shawn Hammond, the Jolly Green II’s test programme manager, added: “We are very proud of the work our integrated test team accomplished in 2020 despite a myriad of operational restrictions due to COVID-19… The team’s success is due to a mission-focused mindset to ensure the crews flying the Jolly Green II into combat have the most reliable and capable helicopters for the job.”