Sikorsky MH-53M Pave Low IV

Pima Air and Space Museum Aircraft

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 horsepower
Crew 6