|Location:||National Cold War Exhibition|
Forty-four of the Sikorsky S-65/HH-53C ‘Super Jolly Green Giant’ (officially known as the Stallion) entered service from August 1968. This was a medium-lift long-range Combat Search and Rescue helicopter, the United States Air Force version of US Navy Marine Corp’s CH-53A/D Sea Stallion helicopter. It was also used for covert operations during the Vietnam War.
Between 1986 and 1990 nine MH-53Hs and 32 HH-53s were later converted to ‘MH-53J Pave Low III Enhanced’ low-level, long-range Special Operations standard with up rated engines, more armour, forward-looking infrared, global positioning system, Doppler navigation systems, terrain-following and terrain-avoidance radar, on-board computer and integrated avionics for low-level, all-weather, long-range, undetected penetration into denied areas, for infiltration, exfiltration and resupply of special operations forces.
They all retained Combat Search And Rescue (CSAR) capability in addition to Special Operations duties, and were the largest helicopter in the USAF inventory, with later upgrade to Pave Low IV standard. Pave refers to the all-weather sensor system, Precision Avionics Vectoring Equipment. They served worldwide, latterly in Iraq until retirement in 2008.