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|Role||ASW, ASuW, ASMD, ASST|
Co-Pilot/Tactical Coordinator (TACCO),
Sensor Operator (SENSO)
|Length||52 ft 9 in (15.9 m)|
|Wingspan||44 ft (13.4 m) rotor|
|Height||15 ft (4.5 m)|
|Empty||9,110 lb (4,100 kg)|
|Maximum take-off||13,500 lb (6075 kg)|
|Engines||Two T700-GE-401/401C turboshaft engines
Two T58-GE-8F turboshaft engines (SH-2F)
|Maximum speed||150 knots maximum (170 mph, 280 km/h)|
|Service ceiling||10,000 ft (3,000 m) at 13,500 lb (6,075 kg)|
|Rate of climb|
|Torpedoes||2 Mk. 46 torpedoes|
The SH-2G Seasprite is a United States Navy ship-based helicopter with anti-submarine, anti-surface threat capability, including over-the-horizon targeting. This aircraft extends and increases shipboard sensor and weapon capabilities against several types of enemy threats, including submarines of all types, surface ships, and patrol craft that may be armed with anti-ship missiles.
The Seasprite's primary missions include anti-submarine and anti-surface warfare, anti-ship missile defense, and anti-ship surveillance and targeting. Secondary missions may include medical evacuation, search and rescue, personal and cargo transfer, as well as small boat interdiction, amphibious assault air support, gun fire spotting, mine detection and battle damage assessment.
Background: The H-2 originally entered Naval service as the Kaman HU2K-1, a single-engine light utility helicopter primarily deployed aboard aircraft carriers in a Search-and-Rescue (SAR) role. When the aircraft numbering system was changed in 1962, the HU2K-1 was redesignated the UH-2A and the HU2K-1U was redesignated UH-2B. The airframe continued to undergo upgrades, most significantly the addition of a second engine and external stores stations, and the HH-2D was selected to be the airframe for the Light Airborne Multi Purpose System (LAMPS) when the program was stood up in 1972. LAMPS evolved in the late 60's from an urgent requirement to develop a manned helicopter that would support a non-aviation ship and serve as its tactical Anti-Submarine Warfare arm. Known as LAMPS Mk I, the advanced sensors, processors, and display capabilities aboard the helicopter enabled ships to extend their situational awareness beyond the line-of-sight limitations that hamper shipboard radars and the short distances for acoustic detection and prosecution of underwater threats associated with hull-mounted sonars. H-2s reconfigured for the LAMPS mission were redesignated SH-2D. The first operational SH-2D/LAMPS helicopter embarked on the USS Belknap (CG-26) in December 1971. Eventually all but two H-2s in the Navy inventory were remanufactured into SH-2Fs, and 59 SH-2Fs were built from the ground up in the 1980s. The final production procurement of the SH-2F was in Fiscal Year 1986. The SH-2F was retired from active service in October 1993, at roughly the same time that the Navy retired and/or sold the last of its (Viet Nam era) Knox Class Frigates that could not accommodate the newly acquired (and larger) SH-60 Seahawk. Some late-production SH-2Fs were either completed as, or have been converted to the upgraded SH-2Gs Super Seasprite variant.
The final variant of the SH-2(F) type took place in 1987 when several aircraft were up-fitted with chin mounted Forward Looking Infrared Sensors (FLIR), Chaff (AIRBOC)/Flares, dual rear mounted IR scramblers, Missile/Mine detecting equipment and M-60D machine guns mounted on both sides of the aircraft, these SH-2F's were not so commonly called Seawolf and/or Attack Wolf’s. They were utilized to enforce Operation Ernest Will (July, 1987) and later Operation Praying Mantis (April, 1988) and Desert Storm (Jan 1991) in the Persian Gulf region. The added countermeasures and equipment gave the SH-2F's enhanced survivability while taking on more surface related combat tasking in an environment of limited submarine threat.
The SH-2F was infamous with Naval aircrew for its high accident rate and dismal 30+ maintenance-hour-per-flight-hour requirement, the highest of any aircraft in the Navy at the time this type was retired from active service. Many of the accidents and maintenance costs were attributed to the severe environment in which this aircraft was operated.
The SH-2G Super Seasprite was retired from service with the U.S Navy Reserve in May 2001 but currently remains in active service with the Royal Australian Navy, the Royal New Zealand Navy, the Polish Navy, and the Egyptian Navy.
- Primary Function: ASW, ASuW, ASMD, ASST, SAR, Utility
- Contractor: Kaman
- Unit Cost: $26 million (SH-2G)
$16 million (SH-2F)
- Propulsion: Two T700-GE-401/401C turboshaft engines (SH-2G)
Two T58-GE-8F turboshaft engines producing 1,450 shp (SH-2F)
- Length: 52 ft 9 in (15.9 m)
- Fuselage length: 40 ft 6 in (12.2 m)
- Height: 15 ft (4.5 m)
- Weight: 9,110 lb (4,100 kg) empty
- Maximum Takeoff Weight: 13,500 lb (6075 kg) normal takeoff
- Range: 450 (SH-2F) 540 (SH-2G) nautical miles (490 statute miles) 4.5 Hours (SH-2F) 5.3 Hours (SH-2G) with maximum fuel (including external aux tanks).
- Ceiling: 10,000 ft (3,000 m) at 13,500 lb (6,075 kg) (SH-2G)
11,850 ft (3,600 m) at 13,500 lb (6,075 kg) (SH-2F) with a max service ceiling of 20,400 ft (SH-2G) 23,000 (SH-2F)
- Max Rate of Climb: 2,400 ft per minute (SH-2F) 2,070 ft per minute (SH-2G)
- Speed: 150 knots maximum (170 mph, 280 km/h) (SH-2G)
139.5 knots maximum (159 mph, 255 km/h) (SH-2F)
- Crew: Three (2 pilots + 1 aircrew)
- Armament: Two Mk 44, 46 or Mk 50 torpedoes M-60 (7.62mm) Machine Guns (2)
- Date Deployed:
Deployment in Australia
As of 2005, Australia has purchased a squadron of Seasprites for the naval helicopter role. However, an extensive range of deficiencies have been identitifed in the aircraft, and the existing helicopters have been restricted to performing simple tasks, such as delivering stores and transporting passengers, and only when the weather is fine .
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