Slide 15 of 17
SLIDE 13: Mission Area Deficiencies: From the mission needs analysis, I have the significant mission area deficiencies grouped by characteristic. On this slide are the operational principles and the deficiencies relating to them.
- Typical CSAR communications links are limited by line of sight. This is adequate for CAF assets that operate at medium to high altitudes, but typical CSAR operations happen at 1,000 ft and below. LOS is very limited and forces are frequently out of communication with operations centers, C4I platforms, and each other. What links exist are susceptible to monitoring and jamming.
- Physical reach of CSAR forces remains a deficiency; recovery vehicle combat radius is and has been 250 nm in every ORD. The UH-60 from which the HH-60G was derived, has a radius of 120 nm. The HH-60G, with cabin auxiliary tanks only stretch that radius to 210 nm – still well short of the threshold.
- Our Lot 1 and Lot 2 HH-60Gs have the T700 engines from GE. On a summer day, at mission gross weights, these aircraft can’t takeoff and depart from their staging field at Camp Doha in Kuwait due to their limited hover performance. The –152 block of the HH-60G adds several thousand pounds and enough drag to lower the top end speed by 8%. Under most conditions, the HH-60G achieves 0 Ps at mission gross weights and corner velocity at less than 1.5 g. This low – g, slow speed turn performance, makes defeating threats by maneuver impractical.
- Present tactics are very sensitive with respect to visual conditions – illumination, visibility, terrain cues, etc. This imposes a tremendous training burden as crews must go by so many different “play-books” depending on threat level, weather, surface conditions, etc. Robust SA, regardless of the threat or visual environment means crews work on quality – not quantity – of tactics training.
- 50+ years of CSAR data indicate survivors’ life expectancy falls along a decayed-exponential curve. Fewer than 50% last more than an hour before dying from exposure or being captured. This “golden hour” is the raison-de-etre for reactive CSAR forces. In a recent exercise, it took 11-12 hours just to launch CSAR forces on a survivor, and just recently, in the Balkans, it took on the order of eight hours on average to perform a rescue
- Excessive launch times are due to the long and unwieldy process by which C2 must gather the EEIs to assess the need and risk associated with the rescue effort. Current processes have not evolved since Vietnam and take little to no advantage of automation or connectivity to reduce this time.
- The HH-60G and the HC-130 both traded payload space for extra fuel. This limits the pickup capacity of the HH-60G to just two survivors – requiring two aircraft in harm’s way to recover a B-1 crew. The HC-130 sacrifices medical evacuation capability and the inherent ability to provide tactical lift for CSAR forces.
- Limited self-deployment radius and lengthy deployment times requires CSAR forces to be forward based to achieve forward presence – both in theater and world wide. This equates to either a large fleet with its attendant support demands or a limited fleet under tremendous burden – low-density/high-demand – with its attendant wear and tear on people and equipment.