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military helicopters • gunships • army attack helicopters
military helicopters

SH-3H Sea King

The SH-3 Sea King has been in service for over 40 years, flying as a transport, sea rescue and anti-submarine warfare (ASW) helicopter. Replaced within the US Navy in 1995 by the SH-60 Sea Hawk, the venerable SH-3 is still going strong in many navies around the world.

sh-3h sea king
US Navy SH-3H Sea King

Submarines are a major threat to any surface fleet. Whilst sub-hunting ships exist, helicopters, with their ability to operate far out from carriers, are preferred since they can intercept underwater threats before they get in range of friendly vessels.

The SH-3H Sea King carries a suite of advanced sensors operated by 2 systems operators seated in the cabin behind the pilot and co-pilot. A Marconi surveillance radar sweeps the surface for contacts. In addition, the SH-3H can deploy 2 forms of sensors buoys for searching beneath the waves. The AN/AQS-13 or AN/AQS-18 dipping sonar is a buoy that is lowered down into the water. The active sonar sweeps in a 180 degree arc for underwater contacts. The SH-3H can also trail out a ASQ-81 Magnetic Anomaly Detector (MAD) behind it. The MAD watches for slight fluctuations in the earth's magnetic field - a tell-tale signature of a submerged submarine.

If it finds a sub, the SH-3H can drop up to 2 MK46 sonar-homing torpedoes or a variety of depth-charges (including variants with nuclear warheads).

SH-3H Sea King Specifications

The SH-3 carries 2x MK46 sonar-homing torpedoes for attacking submarines hiding below the water's surface.
Crew Pilot, Co-pilot + 2 systems operators
Engines 2xT58-GE-10 1400hp Turboshaft engines
Dimensions L - 22.15m
W (rotor diameter) - 18.9m
H - 5.13m
Weights 4,429 kg (empty)
9,525 kg (max loadout)
Max Speed 267 kph
Range 1005 km
Armament 2 x MK44/46 torpedoes
provisions for door guns, 1 each side of fuselage
Avionics AN/AQS-13 / AQS-18 Active Sonar
Hamilton Standard autostabilisation system
Ryan APN-130 Doppler Navigation Radar
Radar Altimeter
ASQ-81 Magnetic Anomaly Detector
Marconi Surveillance Radar

brazillian sh-3 sea king with dipping sonar
When hunting subs, the SH-3 lowers the AN/AQS-13 dipping sonar into the ocean. The sonar tracks underwater objects via reflected sound waves.
sonar operator aboard sh-3 sea king
A crew member monitors the sonar returns aboard the SH-3. ASQ-81 Magnetic Anomaly Detector can also be lowered to find subs via disturbances in the Earth's magnetic field.
  • amphibious hull allows for brief landings on water
  • all-weather capability
  • hinged tailboom for stowing on carriers
  • folding main rotors
  • 100ft hoist capability
  • capable of in-flight refueling from ships
  • able to carry heavy under-slung loads

sh-3h sea king trailing mad sensor bouy
An air-to-air left side view of an SH-3H Sea King helicopter from Helicopter Anti-submarine Squadron 6 (HS-6). The helicopter is trailing an AN/ASQ-81 (V)-2 Magnetic Anomaly Detector (MAD) system magnetic detecting towed body from the starboard sponson.
sh-3h sea king photos :
sea king by carrier
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