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military helicopters • gunships • army attack helicopters
military helicopters

SH-2 Seasprite

sh-2f seasprite landing
US Navy SH-2F Seasprite comes into land.

The SH-2 Seasprite is an anti-submarine / surface ship helicopter developed by the US Navy in 1972. The design was based around the Kaman utility/rescue helicopter. The Seasprite Sh-2D was developed for the Light Airborne Multi-Purpose System (LAMPS) program. LAMPS extends the sensor reach of Naval vessels by linking to the radar/sonar/electronic/magnetic sensors aboard suitably-equipped helicopters. With a LAMPS helicopter, the mothership, or indeed the entire fleet, can detect threats over the horizon and deep underwater.

Seasprites carry a suite of sensors for tracking both surface and underwater contacts. The distinctive disc in the helicopter's chin houses a LN-66HP search radar. Later models (SH-2G) are fitted with a FLIR/laser designator pod. Sonobouys dropped into the water are used to hunt for submarines. On earlier models, the sonar returns would be processed by the Seasprite's mothership whilst the SH-2G is fitted with its own onboard processor. The SH-2 can also deploy a Magnetic Anomaly Detector probe to pinpoint a sub's location. In the minesweeping role, the Seasprite employs a Kaman Magic Lantern airborne laser mine detection system to scan below the waves for submerged mines.

The SH-2 Seasprite can be armed with various air-to-surface weapons including Mark 46 or Mark 50 torpedoes, AGM-65 Maverick infra-red guided missiles, AGM-119 Penguin infra-red guided missiles and AGM-114 Hellfire laser-guided missiles. Door guns can be pintle-mounted to the cabin but this is rarely seen.

Within the US Navy, the Seasprite's role has been taken over by the SH-60 Sea Hawk. Many variants of Seasprites still fly in the Navies of other countries including Egypt, Australia, New Zealand and Poland.

SH-2G Seasprite Specifications

Crew Pilot, Co-pilot +1 system operator
Engines 2x600-GE-401 1722hp Turboshaft engines
Dimensions L - 16.08m
W (rotor diameter) - 13.51m
H - 4.58m
Weights 3,193 kg (empty)
6,033 kg (max loadout)
Max Speed 265 kph
Range 679 km
Armament 2 x Mark 44/46/50 torpedoes
AGM-65 Maverick
AGM-114 Hellfire
AGM-119 Penguin
Sea Skua
provisions for pintle-mounted 7.62mm door guns
Avionics Northrop Grumman LN-66HP multi-mode radar
Raytheon AN/AAQ-16 FLIR
ASQ-81 Magnetic Anomaly Detector
AKT-22 datalink
Computing Devices UYS-503 acoustic processor (SH-2G)
ASN-150 Tactical Navigation
Kaman Magic Lantern
various electronic countermeasures (depending on country-specific variant)
flare/chaff launchers
sh-2f - view of the ln-66 search radar dome
The SH-2 Seasprite carries the LN 66 search radar (the disc below the nose). The radar scans for surface vessels and submarine periscopes.

sh-2 mad and torpedoes
Seasprites carry the ASQ-81 Magnetic Anomaly Detection (MAD) probe and 2x Mark-46 homing torpedoes.
sh-2 systems operator
A systems operator in the rear of the Seasprite's cabin monitors the various sensors carried/deployed by the helicopter.
  • retractable landing gear
  • long-life composite rotor blades
  • FLIR sensor pod
  • laser system for finding submerged mines
  • LAMPS data link for sending sensor data to mothership
  • emergency flotation devices for ditching in the water

sh-2g seasprite
An SH-2G Seasprite painted in the now standard light grey scheme, with less strident national markings as the dark blue scheme of older models. The front landing gear can just be seen retracted in fairings under the cabin.
U.S. DOD photo by PH1(AW) M.K. MILLER, USN
sh-2 seasprite photos :
seasprite underside view

EXTERNAL LINKS - site by ex-SH-2 Seasprite pilots
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