Maxwell Air Force Base in Montgomery County, Alabama — The American South (East South Central)
Sikorsky MH-53M ‘Pave Low IV’ Helicopter
The Sikorsky MH-53 is a variant of the USAF's HH-53 'Super Jolly Green Giant' air rescue helicopter, which was developed in turn from the US Navy's CH-53 'Sea Stallion' heavy lift helicopter. The MH-53 has been optimized for long-range infiltration, exfiltration and resupply of special operations forces in darkness or marginal weather flying conditions. The USAF began using early models of this helicopter for special operations missions in the late 1960s, and later versions continued to receive multiple improvements and upgrades thereafter.
In 1979-80, the Air Force modified nine MH-53Hs and 32 HH-53s to provide special operations units with the latest in avionics and sensor technologies under a program called Pave Low III. Those modifications included forward-looking infrared sensors, an inertial global positioning system, Doppler radar-navigation systems, terrain-following and terrain-avoidance radar, and integrated avionics to enable precise navigation to and from target areas. The USAF designated these modified helicopters as MH-53Js. In the late 1900s, 25 MH-53Js were fitted with new defensive avionics and other upgrades; these Pave Low IV aircraft became MH-53Ms.
The MH-53M on display (S/N 69-5785) is painted and marked as it appeared in 2008 when it was assigned to the 20th Special Operations Squadron,
Rotor Diameter: 72 ft.
Length: 88 ft.
Height: 25 ft.
Armament: 3x7.62mm mini-guns or 3x.50 cal. machine guns
Crew: 2 pilots, 2 flt engineers & 2 aerial gunners
Cost: $40 million (FY01-constant dollars)
Maximum Speed: 165 mph @ sea-level
Crusing [sic] Speed: 120 mph @ sea-level
Maximum Takeoff Weight: 46,000 lbs.
Range: 600 nautical miles (w/o aerial refueling)
Ceiling: 16,000 ft.
This aircraft is on loan from the National Museum of the United States Air Force
Erected by United States Air Force.
Location. 32° 22.893′ N, 86° 20.774′ W. Marker is in Maxwell Air Force Base, Alabama, in Montgomery County. Marker is on Twining Street north of Ash Street, on the left when traveling north. Touch for map. Marker is in the Maxwell Air Park. Marker is in this post office area: Montgomery AL 36112, United States of America.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. William R. Lawley, Jr. (within shouting distance of this marker); Major General James Harrison Wilson, USV (about 300 feet away, measured in a direct line); Boeing B-52D "Stratofortress" (about 300 feet away); North American B-25 Mitchell (about 300 feet away); Air University / Maxwell Air Force Base (about 300 feet away); British and Commonwealth Pilots Trained in the U.S.A. (about 300 feet away); Former POWs And Those MIA (about 300 feet away); Montgomery Chapter of the American Ex-Prisoners of War (about 400 feet away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Maxwell Air Force Base.
Also see . . .
1. MH-53M Pave Low IV. (Submitted on April 15, 2013, by William Fischer, Jr. of Scranton, Pennsylvania.)
2. MH-53 Pave Low Helicopter Videos. (Submitted on April 15, 2013, by William Fischer, Jr. of Scranton, Pennsylvania.)
Categories. • Air & Space • Patriots & Patriotism • War, 1st Iraq & Desert Storm • War, Vietnam •
Credits. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016. This page originally submitted on April 15, 2013, by William Fischer, Jr. of Scranton, Pennsylvania. This page has been viewed 838 times since then and 16 times this year. Photos: 1, 2, 3. submitted on April 15, 2013, by William Fischer, Jr. of Scranton, Pennsylvania.