PAVE LOW IV
PAVE LOW IV

Manufacturer

SIKORSKY

Markings:

20th Special Operations Squadron, Hurlburt Field, Florida, 2008

Designation:

MH-53M

Serial Number:

73-1649

SIKORSKY MH-53M PAVE LOW IV

The MH-53M is the last version of the H-53 Super Jolly Green Giant that was developed during the Vietnam War. The H-53 was designed by Sikorsky to meet an Air Force requirement for a long range Combat Search and Rescue helicopter to supplement the HH-3 Jolly Green Giant. Based on the CH-53A Sea Stallion the HH-53B entered service in 1967 quickly followed by the HH-53C. The Air Force was very happy with the performance of the helicopter both in the search and rescue roll and as a transport for Special Forces troops. The only drawback of the helicopter was a lack of all-weather and night capability. To address this the HH-53s were modified under a program called "Pave Low" with night vision equipment and other sensors. The upgraded helicopters were redesignated as MH-53H. The final upgrade came with the MH-53M Pave Low IV which gave the helicopters even more capabilities with onboard mission planning computers and satellite communications allowing replanning of routes and missions while airborne.

Specifications

  • Wingspan: 72 ft 3 in
  • Length: 88 ft 2 in
  • Height: 24 ft 11 in
  • Weight: 42,000 lbs (loaded)
  • Max. Speed: 186 mph
  • Service Ceiling: 18,550 kt
  • Range: 540 miles
  • Engines: Two General Electric T64-GE-7 turboshafts with 3,925 horse power
  • Crew: 6