HUNTSVILLE, Ala. - A new hawk launched in Huntsville this week, but there are no baby birds to be seen here. The HH60G Pave Hawk is the first to be built in nearly 16 years, converted from an old UH-60L helicopter.
"This is a great day for the Air Force, this is an even better day for combat rescue," said Brigadier General Eric Fick.
The HH60G Pave Hawk, plus the 20 to follow, will help with an inventory shortfall until the HH60 Whiskey is unveiled in 2020.
"Since that last Hawk was hatched -- sustained operations worldwide have taken their toll on the fleet on their airmen and on the soldiers, sailors and airmen and marines that these aircraft were designed to rescue," Fick said.
However, the new helicopter isn't just great for the military -- it's great for the community.
"This is production. We've always done science, engineering -- we've done some manufacturing... but this is actual production and re-modification of a chassis that has some ancient age on it," said Huntsville Mayor Tommy Battle.
Plus, 140 new jobs are being added to complete the fleet.
"Our community is part of the war fighter community and we're able to provide a product that isn't provided anywhere else," Mayor Battle added.
By a company that has its roots deeply planted in Huntsville.
"SES has been one of our home-grown organic companies -- started on Pulaski Pike and then moved to this facility and then slowly but surely has moved throughout this facility and now to add another 140 to the capabilities to what they already have today is a great success story," said Battle.