SH-3 Sea King helicopter: Aircraft profile

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The H-3 is a twin engine, all-weather helicopter. The SH-3H model is used by the Navy Reserves to detect, classify, track and destroy enemy submarines.

SH-3 Sea King helicopter: Manama, Bahrain (Sept. 2, 2005) - A UH-3H Sea King helicopter, assigned to the “Desert Ducks” of Helicopter Combat Support Squadron Two (HC-2), flies over Fast Al Jarim Island near Manama, Bahrain.SH-3 Sea King helicopter: Manama, Bahrain (Sept. 2, 2005) - A UH-3H Sea King helicopter, assigned to the “Desert Ducks” of Helicopter Combat Support Squadron Two (HC-2), flies over Fast Al Jarim Island near Manama, Bahrain.

It also provides logistical support and a search and rescue capability. The UH-3H model is utility configured for logistical support and search and rescue missions. The VH-3D model supports the Executive Transport Mission.

Background

The first version of this workhorse helicopter was flown more than 40 years ago. The Sea King has been replaced by the SH-60F Sea Hawk helicopters as the anti-submarine warfare helicopter. The transition was completed in the mid-1990s. The remaining Sea King helicopters have been configured for logistical support and search and rescue missions. Current plans are to phase out the H-3 by 2009.

SH-3 Sea King helicopter: Lake Miramar, San Diego, Calif. (Oct. 29, 2003) -- Two UH-3H Sea King helicopters assigned to the “Golden Gaters” of Helicopter Combat Support Squadron Eighty Five (HC-85) dip their "Bambi” Buckets into Lake Miramar during an aircraft certification training flight. Once certified, Navy personnel will assist in fire fighting efforts against wildfires raging throughout Southern Calif. Each bucket can hold 324 gallons of water weighing 3000 lbs. U.S. Navy photo by Photographer's Mate Airman Andrew Betting.SH-3 Sea King helicopter: Lake Miramar, San Diego, Calif. (Oct. 29, 2003) -- Two UH-3H Sea King helicopters assigned to the “Golden Gaters” of Helicopter Combat Support Squadron Eighty Five (HC-85) dip their "Bambi” Buckets into Lake Miramar during an aircraft certification training flight. Once certified, Navy personnel will assist in fire fighting efforts against wildfires raging throughout Southern Calif. Each bucket can hold 324 gallons of water weighing 3000 lbs. U.S. Navy photo by Photographer's Mate Airman Andrew Betting.

General Characteristics

Primary Function: VH-3D (HC-2) — Executive Transport

UH-3H (HC-85/PMRF/VC-8) — Utility and Torpedo recovery

SH-3H (HS-75) — Carrier-based anti-submarine warfare

UH-3H (HC-2/Naval Air Stations) — Logistics/Search & Rescue

Contractor: Sikorsky Aircraft Division of United Technologies, Stratford, CT.

Date Deployed: First flight, March 1959; Operational, June 1961.

Unit Cost: $6.4 million.

Propulsion: Two General Electric T58-GE-402 turboshaft engines.

Length: 73 feet (21.9 meters); Fuselage length: 54 feet, 9 inches (16.5 meters).

Height: 17 feet (5.1 meters).

Weight: 11,865 lbs. (5,339 kg) empty; Maximum takeoff weight is 21,000 pounds (9,450 kg).

Airspeed: 120 kts (138 miles per hour(217.6 km)).

Ceiling: 14,700 feet (4,410 meters).

Range: 542 nautical miles (623.3 statute miles, 997 km.).

Crew: Four.

Source: US Navy

SH-3 Sea King helicopter: An air-to-air rear view of a Helicopter Anti-submarine Squadron 15 (HS-15) SH-3 Sea King helicopter conducting routine anti-submarine warfare exercises.SH-3 Sea King helicopter: An air-to-air rear view of a Helicopter Anti-submarine Squadron 15 (HS-15) SH-3 Sea King helicopter conducting routine anti-submarine warfare exercises.

Detailed background:

Source: wikipedia.org

The Sikorsky SH-3 Sea King (company designation S-61) is a twin-engined anti-submarine warfare (ASW) helicopter. It served with the United States Navy and other forces, and continues to serve in many countries around the world. The Sea King has been built under license in Italy and Japan, and in the United Kingdom as the Westland Sea King. The major civil versions are the S-61L and S-61N.

Development

In 1957, Sikorsky was awarded a contract to develop an all-weather amphibious helicopter. It would combine submarine hunter and killer roles. The prototype flew on 11 March 1959. It became operational with the United States Navy in June 1961 as the HSS-2. The designation for the aircraft was changed with the introduction of the unified aircraft designation system in 1962 to the SH-3A. It was used primarily for anti-submarine warfare, but also served in anti-ship, search and rescue, transport, communications, executive transport and Airborne Early Warning roles.

Design

It was designed for shipboard operations, as the five main rotor blades as well as tail section with its five blades can be folded for easy stowage. Because of its amphibious hull, the Sea King has the ability to land on water. However, this is a risky maneuver and used only in emergencies, as the hull can only remain watertight for a limited period of time. The sponsons were fitted with deployable airbags to enhance floatation.

Armaments and equipment of Sea Kings vary widely with their role. Typical armaments can be four torpedoes, four depth charges or two anti-ship missiles (Sea Eagle or Exocet). A large Chaff Pod was sometimes carried for anti-ship missile defense of the Carrier Battle Group. ASW equipment included a dipping sonar AQS81B with a 500 foot cable and 5000 watts of power, 21 sonobuoys, Magnetic Anomaly Detector (MAD Bird), and Data link to transmit sonar and sonobuoy data to the rest of the Fleet. In the Search and Rescue role the cabin can accommodate 22 survivors or nine stretchers and two medical officers. In the troop transport role 28 soldiers can be accommodated.

SH-3 Sea King helicopter: A Helicopter Anti-submarine Squadron 5 (HS-5) SH-3 Sea King helicopter takes off from the flight deck of the nuclear-powered aircraft carrier USS DWIGHT D. EISENHOWER (CVN 69).SH-3 Sea King helicopter: A Helicopter Anti-submarine Squadron 5 (HS-5) SH-3 Sea King helicopter takes off from the flight deck of the nuclear-powered aircraft carrier USS DWIGHT D. EISENHOWER (CVN 69).

Operational service

Sea King as Marine One

Aircraft carriers always deployed the Sea King as the first aircraft in the air and the last to land serving in air operations as plane guard and SAR for the fixed winged aircraft. An SH-3A, operating from the USS New Orleans amphibious assault ship, was used in the February 1971 Apollo 14 recovery mission.

In the US Navy, it was replaced in the ASW and SAR roles by the SH-60 Sea Hawk during the 1990s, but continues in service for other roles, for ASW in the reserves, and around the world. All H-3 aircraft in US Navy service are used in the logistics support, range support, Search and Rescue, test, and VIP transport roles. The H-3 was finally retired on 27 January 2006 in a Final Flight ceremony in NAS Norfolk, Virginia, by Helicopter Combat Support Squadron 2 (HC-2), the Fleet Angels.

A Sea King is used as one of the official helicopters of the President of the United States and is operated by the United States Marine Corps. It is known as Marine One when the president is actually aboard.

SH-3 Sea King helicopter: An air-to-air left side view of six SH-3 Sea King helicopters from Helicopter Anti-submarine Squadron 12 (HS-12), as they fly over Southern California.SH-3 Sea King helicopter: An air-to-air left side view of six SH-3 Sea King helicopters from Helicopter Anti-submarine Squadron 12 (HS-12), as they fly over Southern California.

Variants

US military

XHSS-2

The only prototype of the H-3 Sea King.

YHSS-2

Prototype and trials aircraft. Seven helicopters were built for the US Navy.

SH-3A

Anti-submarine warfare helicopter for the US Navy (245 built); originally designated HSS-2.

HH-3A

Search and rescue helicopter for the US Navy (12 converted from SH-3A).

CH-3A

Military transport version for the US Air Force (3 converted from SH-3A later became CH-3B).

NH-3A (S-61F)

Experimental version, with wings and turbojet engines (1 Converted from SH-3A).

RH-3A

Minesweeper helicopter for the US Navy (9 converted from SH-3A).

VH-3A

VIP transport helicopter for the US Army & Marine Corps (8 built, plus 2 SH-3A (STAKE) conversions which were rebuild from damaged helicopters, 1 a YHSS-2 and 1 a SH-3A).

CH-3B

Military transport helicopter for the US Air Force.

SH-3D (S-61B) (HSS-2A)

Anti-submarine warfare helicopter for the US Navy (73 built and two conversion from SH-3A). Also operated by the Islamic Republic of Iran Navy Aviation.

SH-3D (S-61B)

Anti-submarine warfare helicopter for the Spanish Navy (6 built).

SH-3D-TS

Anti-submarine warfare version.

VH-3D

VIP transport helicopter for the US Marine Corps.

SH-3G

Cargo, utility transport helicopter for the US Navy (105 Conversions from SH-3A and SH-3D).

SH-3H (HSS-2B)

Anti-submarine warfare helicopter for the US Navy (Conversions from older versions).

SH-3H AEW

Airborne early warning version for the Spanish navy.

UH-3H

cargo, utility transport version for the US Navy.

Sikorsky

S-61

Company designation for the H-3 Sea King.

S-61A

Export version for the Royal Danish Air Force.

S-61A-4 Nuri

Military transport, search and rescue helicopter for the Royal Malaysian Air Force. It can seat up to 31 combat troops (38 built).

S-61A/AH

Utility helicopter for survey work and search and rescue in the Antarctic.

S-61B

Export version of the SH-3 anti-submarine warfare helicopter for the Japanese Maritime Self Defence Force.

S-61D-3

Export version for the Brazilian Navy.

S-61D-4

Export version for the Argentine Navy.

S-61NR

Search and rescue version for the Argentine Air Force.

S-61L/N

SH-3 Sea King helicopter: The pilot and copilot check their instruments in the cockpit of a Helicopter Anti-submarine Squadron 2 (HS-2) SH-3H Sea King helicopter.SH-3 Sea King helicopter: The pilot and copilot check their instruments in the cockpit of a Helicopter Anti-submarine Squadron 2 (HS-2) SH-3H Sea King helicopter.

Civil versions of the Sea King.

S-61R

The S-61R served in the United States Air Force as the CH-3C/E Sea King and the HH-3E Jolly Green Giant, and with the United States Coast Guard and the Italian Air Force as the HH-3F Sea King (more commonly referred to by the nickname "Pelican").

S-61V

Company designation for the VH-3A, (1 built for Indonesia).

United Aircraft of Canada

CH-124

Anti-submarine warfare helicopter for the Canadian Navy.

Westland

The Westland Sea King variant was manufactured under license by Westland Helicopters, Ltd. in the United Kingdom, who developed a specially modified version for the Royal Navy. It is powered by a pair of Rolls-Royce Gnome turbines, and has British avionics and ASW equipment. This variant first flew in 1969, and entered service the next year. It is also used by the Royal Air Force and has been sold round the world.

SH-3 Sea King helicopter: Air-to-air left side view of a Navy SH-3H Sea King helicopter assigned to Helicopter Anti-Submarine Squadron Four with an AQS-13 dipping sonar deployed.SH-3 Sea King helicopter: Air-to-air left side view of a Navy SH-3H Sea King helicopter assigned to Helicopter Anti-Submarine Squadron Four with an AQS-13 dipping sonar deployed.

Agusta

AS-61

Company designation for the H-3 Sea King built under licence in Italy by Agusta.

AS-61A-1

Italian export model for the Royal Malaysian Air Force.

AS-61A-4

Military transport helicopter, search and rescue helicopter. Built under licence in Italy by Agusta.

AS-61N-1 Silver

License built model of the S-61N, with a shortened cabin.

AS-61VIP

VIP transport helicopter. Built under licence in Italy by Agusta.

ASH-3A (SH-3G)

Utility transport helicopter. Built under licence in Italy by Agusta.

ASH-3D

Anti-submarine warfare helicopter. Built under licence in Italy by Agusta. Flown by the Italian, Brazilian, Peruvian and Argentinian navies.

ASH-3TS

VIP, executive transport mission helicopter. Built under licence in Italy by Agusta. Also known as the ASH-3D/TS.

ASH-3H

Anti-submarine warfare helicopter. Built under licence in Italy by Agusta.

Mitsubishi

S-61A

Licence built-version of the S-61A as Search-and-Rescue and Utility helicopters for the Japan Maritime Self Defence Force (18 Built)

HSS-2

Licence built version of the S-61B as an Anti-submarine warfare helicopter for the Japan Maritime Self Defence Force (55 Built).

HSS-2A

Licence built version of the S-61B(SH-3D) as an Anti-submarine warfare helicopter for the Japan Maritime Self Defence Force (28 Built).

HSS-2B

Licence built version of the S-61B(SH-3H) as an Anti-submarine warfare helicopter for the Japan Maritime Self Defence Force (23 Built).

Specifications (SH-3)

General characteristics

Crew: 4 (2 pilots, 2 ASW systems operators)

Capacity: 3 passengers
Length: 54 ft 9 in (16.7 m)
Rotor diameter: 62 ft (19 m)
Height: 16 ft 10 in (5.13 m)
Disc area: ft² (m²)
Empty weight: 11,865 lb (5,382 kg)
Loaded weight: 18,626 lb (8,449 kg)
Max takeoff weight: 22,050 lb (10,000 kg)
Powerplant: 2× General Electric T58-GE-10 turboshafts, 1,400 shp (kW) each

Performance

Maximum speed: 166 mph (267 km/h)
Range: 621 mi (1,000 km)
Service ceiling 14,700 ft (4,481 m)
Rate of climb: 1,310-2,220 ft/min (400-670 m/min)

Armament

2× Mk 46/44 anti-submarine torpedoes (SH-3H)
Various sonobuoys and pyrotechnic devices
B-57 Nuclear depth charge
Door guns and gun turrets on some variants

More photos: SH-3 Sea King photo gallery

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