The HH-60 Jayhawk helicopter is multi-mission helicopter operated by the U.S. Coast Guard for search and rescue missions.
The HH-60 Jayhawk is a twin engine, medium range helicopter manufactured by Sikorsky Aircraft Corporation in Stratford, Connecticut. The Jayhawk is primarily used for search and rescue and other offshore operations. However, the helicopter is also deployed for other missions, including law enforcement, drug interdiction and marine protection.
The Jayhawk is capable of carrying a four person crew 300 miles offshore, can carry an additional six people onboard and can remain on-scene in the middle of the ocean for up to 45 minutes before returning to its base of operations.
The Jayhawk entered service with the U.S. Coast Guard in the early1990s. A total of 42 Jayhawk’s were produced by Sikorsky for use in the U.S. The helicopters began a comprehensive upgrade program in 2007 that was scheduled to last until 2015 and provide the Jayhawk’s with improved avionics and enhanced airframes. After the upgrade program is completed, each helicopter will be given the new designation MH-60T Jayhawk.
The Jayhawk helicopters are distinguished by their speed. Each helicopter can travel at a top speed of nearly 210 miles per hour. Normal cruising speed for the Jayhawk’s is 155 to 160 miles per hour. A Jayhawk can travel at 160 miles per hour for seven hours straight. Although primarily used for domestic operations in U.S. coastal waters, the HH-60 Jayhawk’s have also been used for operations in the 1991 Gulf War in Iraq, and most recently in Afghanistan.