Sikorsky MH-53M Pave Low IV

A picture of the 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 role 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 with night vision equipment and other sensors under a program called “Pave Low.”  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 planning of routes and missions while airborne. 

Rotor Diameter

72 ft 3 in.


88 ft 2 in.


24 ft 11 in.


42,000 lbs (loaded)

Maximum Speed

186 MPH

Service Ceiling

18,550 ft


540 miles


Two General Electric T64-GE-7 turboshafts with 3,925 horsepower each




United States Air Force, 20th Special Operations Squadron, 352nd Special Operations Group, Hurlburt Field, Florida, 2008

Serial Number


Pima Air & Space Museum

Creating unlimited horizons in aerospace education through the preservation and presentation of the history of flight.

Charity EIN: 86-6031135

Copyright ©
Website by CS Design Studios

Contact Info


6000 E Valencia Rd, Tucson, AZ 85756

Operating Hours:
Open 9 AM – 3 PM Daily
Last Admittance at 1:30 PM