Air Force Names New HH-60W Rescue Helicopters After The “Jolly Green Giants” Of Vietnam

The U.S. Air Force has officially nicknamed its new HH-60W Combat Rescue Helicopters as Jolly Green IIs. This moniker is a direct reference to the Vietnam War-era HH-3E Jolly Green and HH-53B/C Super Jolly Green combat search and rescue helicopters that saved the lives of countless downed American aircrews during the conflict in Southeast Asia.

Watch This Night Stalker AH-6 Little Bird Execute A Maritime Rope Ladder Extraction

The War Zone has written extensively about how the aviators of the U.S. Army’s elite 160th Special Operations Aviation Regiment are experts in flying through especially challenging environments, including hazard-filled urban areas, and at very low levels in the dark, in order to insert special operators where ever they might need to go. A recent official video showing one of the unit’s AH-6 Little Birds using a rope ladder to extract an individual from the water reminds us that they’re just as capable of getting American personnel out at the end of a mission or in an emergency.

One Company Is Putting A New Spin On How To Yank Downed Pilots Out Of Enemy Territory

A U.S. defense contractor is pitching a novel way to extract downed pilots who might find themselves deep within hostile territory or stranded in otherwise inaccessible terrain whereby another plane throws them a line that simply yanks them off the ground and tows them to safety. The proposal is, in many ways, a spiritual successor to similar systems that emerged during the Cold War, but could offer significant advantages in reliability and safety, as well as being something that virtually any aircraft could employ with limited modifications.

Shot Down? The USAF Now Wants To Air-Drop An Air Taxi To Fly You Out To Safety

In the midst of a future conflict, an American fighter jet is shot down while operating over hostile territory. The terrain is too complicated and risks are too great to send in a traditional combat search and rescue team, so U.S. commanders turn to a novel option: air-drop a small, ultra-quiet autonomous air vehicle with short or vertical take-off and landing capabilities near the crash site so the downed aviator can fly to safety. Though it may sound like a scene straight out of a sci-fi war movie set in the near future, this is a concept the U.S. Air Force wants to actively explore.

USAF Wants To Turn HC-130J’s Self Defense Suite Into “Sauron’s Eye” Vision System

The U.S. Air Force wants to leverage the cameras in the directional infrared countermeasures system on the HC-130J Combat King II rescue aircraft and turn them into an augmented vision system, similar in general concept to the Distributed Aperture System on the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter, to give the crew better situational awareness. The service has nicknamed the project Sauron’s Eye, a reference to chief villain Sauron’s all-seeing magical eye in J.R.R. Tolkien’s The Lord of the Rings trilogy, and the results could easily find their way onto any other aircraft with the similar self-protection systems installed.