SH-60B/F Sea Hawk
In service since 1983 (SH-60B) and 1989 (SH-60F), the Sikorsky SH-60 Sea Hawk is the US Navy's primary anti-submarine and surface warfare helicopter. The SH-60B operates from frigates and destroyers and provides protection for the fleet's outer ring whilst the SH-60F operates from carriers and protects the inner zone.
For the SH-60B's anti-submarine warfare (ASW) missions, it carries 25 active sonar buoys. When it's mothership's sonar detects a submarine in the vicinity, the Sea Hawk drops a line of active buoys which provide a rough fix on its position. The SH-60B then deploys a towed ASQ-81 Magnetic Anomaly Detector (MAD) probe, which analyses fluctuations in the planet's magnetic field, to obtain an exact position of the enemy sub. Once pinpointed, a Mark 46 or Mark 50 torpedo is dropped into the water which automatically homes onto the target.
The SH-60B also protects against small surface contacts. It can carry AGM-119 Penguin anti-ship missiles or AGM-114 Hellifre missiles. A LAU/16 .50 caliber door gun can also be carried. Secure data link antennas allow the mothership to obtain real time sensor data from the helicopter, effectively extending it's own range of view.The SH-60F protects the fleet's carriers in a mission known as 'CV-Helo'. Instead of the MAD probe, it employs a Bendix AN/AQS-13f dipping sonar to compliment it's 14 active sonar buoys. It also carries out 'plane-guard' missions - remaining on station to recover crashed pilots taking off from or landing on the carrier, and general Search and Rescue (SAR) and utility roles.
SH-60B/F Sea Hawk Specifications
The SH-60B/F Sea Hawk has a Forward Looking InfraRed (FLIR) turret mounted in the nose. The fleet's anti-submarine screen has to be able to operate day and night in all weathers and the FLIR makes this possible.
The Sh-60B also carries the ALQ-142 ESM which analyses electronic signals and a APS-124 search radar. Other exclusive avionics include the ARQ-44 data link.
The SH-60B can carry the AGM-119 Penguin anti-ship missile. The Norwegian-built Penguin is an infra-red seeking, sea-skimming missile with a range of 34-55 km.
U.S. DOD photo by PH2 LISA AMAN, USN
sh-60 sea hawk photos :
sea hawk firing hellfire
sea hawk video:
sh-60b/f sea hawks in action
Sikorsy website - info on the Sea Hawk range of naval helicopters