A combat search-and-rescue (CSAR) fission is a highly complex evolution that requires detailed coordination. Fixed-wing assets in the CSAR team are capable of eliminating radar-guided missiles and enemy vehicles that recovery helicopters might encounter. However, low-flying helicopters remain vulnerable to shoulder-launched heat-seeking missiles, rocket-propelled grenades, and small-arms fire. In meeting these threats, the team's helicopters are expected to fend for themselves.
The Navy's premier CSAR and naval special warfare helicopter is the HH-60H Seahawk. Currently, the only forward-firing weapon HH-60Hs are equipped with is the AGM-114 Hellfire missile. The Hellfire is a most effective missile that packs a powerful punch—but is it the right weapon for CSAR and special warfare missions?