Tag Archives: Search And Rescue

A glimpse into the cockpit of the HH-101A “Caesar” Special Operations Helicopter

The “Caesar” is considered one of the most advanced helicopters for CSAR and Personnel Recovery duties available today.

On Feb. 25, the Italian Air Force took delivery of its first AgustaWestland (now a division of Finmeccanica Group) HH-101A “Caesar” medium-lift helicopter during an official ceremony held at Cervia airbase, Italy.

The helicopter, a military variant of the AW.101, is one of four HH-101A helicopters, out of a total requirement of 15, delivered from the Finmeccanica Helicopter Division’s assembly line in Yeovil (UK) to date.

It will be used to perform personnel recovery and special forces missions, SAR (Search And Rescue) and CSAR missions, as well as medical evacuation (MEDEVAC) tasks.

Interestingly, the helicopter will also be used to counter small aerial threats undertaking the Slow Mover Intercept

According to Finmeccanica, the HH-101A is able to accommodate up to five crew members plus twenty fully equipped troops or six crew members plus 8 troops for special operations, ensuring maximum mission flexibility.

It features three M134 7.62 mm pintle mounted Gatling-type machine guns installed on right and left sides and on the rear ramp provided by Finmeccanica Defence Systems Division, armoured cockpit seats, ballistic protection for machine gun operators as well as for critical systems and an Integrated Electronic Warfare System.

The chopper is also equipped with some cutting-edge avionics, sensors and self-protection systems including radios, Identification Friend or Foe (IFF), crypto, Link 16, intercommunications system, Gabbiano radar system, Laser Warning Receiver (LWR) and a Missile Launch Detection System (MILDS).

By means of a kit the HH-101A can extend its operating range performing HAAR (Helicopter Air-to-Air Refueling) ops.

HH101 delivery

Image credit: Finmeccanica

Here’s why the U.S. Navy recovered this F/A-18F Super Hornet wreckage from the sea

These photos show that also an aircraft wreckage can be useful to avoid future incidents.

Taken on Jul. 22, 2015 the following interesting pictures feature U.S. Navy Divers and Explosive Ordnance Disposal (EOD) technicians, assigned to Commander, Task Group (CTG) 56.1, successfully salvaging an F/A-18F Super Hornet lost at sea aboard USNS Catawba (T-ATF 168).

Noteworthy this aircraft was lost because of a mechanical failure suffered by one of its engines and its salvage will allow a close inspection on the engine that failed.

This F/A-18F (AB 210, BuNo 166814) was assigned to the “Fighting Checkmates” of Strike Fighter Squadron (VFA) 211 and crashed in the Arabian Gulf on May 12, 2015 shortly after its launch from the aircraft carrier USS Theodore Roosevelt (CVN-71).

The aircrew ejected safely and was recovered by USS Theodore Roosevelt search and rescue personnel.

Image credit: Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Arthurgwain L. Marquez / U.S. Navy

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Low level flying, Winching and Special OPS support: fly with the MH-60S Knighthawks of HSC-4

Helicopter Sea Combat Squadron FOUR (HSC-4) recently made a video about the squadrons operations in the past year.

Based at NAS North Island in San Diego, HSC-4 is tasked with Anti-Submarine Warfare (ASW) missions as well as Search and Rescue, Combat Search and Rescue, Special Operations Support and Logistics.

The squadron is assigned to Carrier Air Wing TWO (CVW-2).

Also known as the Black Knights, HSC-4 flies the MH-60S Knighthawk, a helicopter that features a glass cockpit with active matrix liquid crystal displays specialised in ASW, Vertical Replenishment (VERTREP) at Sea, Humanitarian Disaster Relief, Search and Rescue, Combat Search and Rescue, Aero Medical Evacuation, SPECWAR, Organic Airborne Mine Countermeasures, and Logistical support.

The video below shows HSC-4 Knignhawk helos fly in tactical formation at low level over the desert, perform winching operations and operate on warships, including aircraft carrier USS Ronald Regan.

H/T to HSC-4 for the heads-up

 

F-16 pilot takes selfie during Arctic surveillance training mission over Greenland

Royal Danish Air Force F-16 planes have deployed to Greenland to undertake an Arctic mission.  Fortunately, Danish pilots took their GoPro cameras aboard.

According to the Flyvevåbnet (Royal Danish Air Force), on Aug. 5 two RDAF F-16s from Skrydstrup deployed to Thule airbase in Greenland, to undertake the first ever “Arctic mission” aimed at training F-16 aircrews in the Arctic SAR (Search And Rescue) mission.

The aircraft arrived in Greenland for the 2-day exercise with a stop-over at Kangerlussuaq (Søndre Strømfjord) another airport in Greenland.

The Arctic scenario has become one of the Danish defense priorities: among all the other things, the RDAF could be asked to quickly deploy fighter planes to the island to perform surveillance as well as SAR support tasks around the Arctic Circle.

Once again, RDAF pilots took some interesting selfies using their GoPro cameras.

Thule take off

Image credit: RDAF

 

Video shows C-130s flying at very low altitude through the valleys during Red Flag Alaska

If you thought low level flying was only for fighter planes, you were wrong. Watch how maneuverable a C-130 can be during a Red Flag sortie.

The following video shows a C-130H from the U.S. Air Force’s 36th Airlift Squadron, Yokota airbase Japan while conducting training operations during Red Flag Alaska 13-1. You can also spot another Hercules leading the formation through the valleys.

Even if low level videos usually feature fast jets, even cargo aircraft, often involved in special operations, reconnaissance, Search And Rescue, troops or humanitarian airdrops in troubled spots around the world, may have to fly (hence train) at low altitudes.

For instance, the low flying training of Royal Air Force C-130 Hercules pilots came in handy when they were tasked to rescue oil workers that were trapped in Libya in 2011, few weeks before the Air War kicked off. The C-130s coming from Malta flew at low level once over the desert and in hostile air space, picked up the oil workers at a small remote airfield and returned to Luqa flying, at very low altitude until they reached the boundaries of the Libyan airspace.

H/T to Militaryphotos.net

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