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SH-2 Seasprite

The SH-2 Seasprite is a multi-mission helicopter featuring dual General Electric T700 engines, which give the aircraft true single engine capability throughout any mission configuration and profile. Standard mission equipment in the US Navy configuration includes: the AN/UYS-503 acoustic data processor and a state-of-the-art sonobuoy processor that incorporates the best features of any Undersea Warfare (USW) equipment in the world today.

Tactical data from the radar, Electronic Support Measures (ESM), acoustic processors, and Magnetic Anomaly Detector (MAD) are integrated through the MIL-STD 1553B data bus and displayed on the AN/ASN-150 tactical navigation set. This allows the crew to function simultaneously in a multi-mission battle space scenario including USW, Anti-Surface Warfare (ASuW), Anti-Ship Surveillance and Targeting (ASST), as well as utility functions such as search and rescue, vertical replenishment, and medical evacuation.

The maximum gross weight of the aircraft—13,500 pounds—gives this medium weight helicopter the unique ability to operate from the smallest combatants yet carry payloads that enable diverse mission loads and extended times on station. Options include: a dipping sonar (offered in the Egyptian configuration), Forward Looking Infra-Red (FLIR), missile systems, and helicopter self-protection equipment such as jammers, missile warning equipment, and chaff systems. The US Navy incorporated Magic Lantern, a laser-based mine detection system, in 1996.

A product of Kaman Aerospace Corporation of Bloomfield, CT, the SH-2G Super SeaSprite was originally developed in the mid-1950s as a shipboard utility helicopter for the Navy. Utilizing a unique blade flap design on the main rotors, aerodynamic action of the flaps allows the pilot to fly without the aid of hydraulic assistance. The SH-2G is configured specifically to respond to the Light Airborne Multi-Purpose System (LAMPS) requirement of the United States Navy. The LAMPS concept extends the search and attack capabilities of carrier and convoy escort vessels over the horizon through the use of radar/ESM equipped helicopters.

Primary missions of the SH-2G are anti-submarine warfare (ASW)and anti-ship surveillance and targeting (ASST). Secondary missions include search and rescue, vertical replenishment, medical evacuation, communications relay, personnel transfer,surveillance and reconnaissance, post-attack damage assessment, and naval gunfire spotting. Armament systems consist of two search stores systems (sonobuoy's and marine location marker's), an external weapons/stores system for external fuel tanks or torpedoes, and a countermeasures dispensing system.

The original SH-2 Seasprite took off on July 2, 1959, and the US Navy over the years ordered various variants. Work on the SH-2G began in the 1980s, and an engine testbed for the T700 engines, which replace the T58, flew in April 1985. A prototype with full avionics fit followed on 28. December 1989. First new production SG-2G was accepted into service with the US Navy Reserve Squadron HSL-84 at NAS North Island (San Diego) on February 25, 1993. The Super Seasprites are used for long-range surveillance, anti-surface warfare, anti-submarine warfare, mine warfare countermeasures, SAR and utility missions.

The first foreign sale of th SH-2G was announced in March 1995, when Egypt ordered 10 helicopters (all remanufactured from SH-2Fs). Official roll-out of the first SH-2G(E) was on October 21, 1997, although testing had been completed earlier. The first three machines will be used for flight training at Pensacola NAS before in-country delivery in April 1998. The helicopters will fly from frigates. Value of the deal is put at more than 150 million US-Dollars with support. Other international customers for the SH-2G are Australia (11) and New Zealand (4), which selected the Kaman helicopter after fierce competitions in January an March 1997 respectively. Contracts were signed in June, worth 600 million US-Dollars for Australia and 185 million US-Dollars for New Zealand (including training, spares and Maverick missiles). Deliveries to Australia are to start in the year 2001, and New Zealand will get its Super Seasprites from June 2000 for operation aboard ANZAC and Leander Class frigates. As an interim measure, SH-2Fs were delivered to the New Zealand Navy in 1997/98.


Type Shipboard ASW and anti-ship helicopter
Program Summary
  • Latest in the H-2 series LAMPS MARK I program
  • Entered the Fleet in 1967 and has operated from most aviation-capable ships in the U.S. Navy and international navies.
  • Currently operated by the U.S. Naval Reserve Force; first delivered in February 1993.
  • In 1995, the Arab Republic of Egypt contracted for 10 SH-2G aircraft in a dipping sonar configuration. The first deliveries under this program took place in 1997.
  • The aircraft's low gross weight coupled with the power available from the T700-GE-401 engines make it attractive for small deck operations.
  • Manufacturer Kaman Aerospace
    Old Windsor Road
    Bloomfield, Connecticut 06002
    Crew three (2 pilots + 1 aircrew)
    Passengers up to 8 fully armed troops
    Weapons On outriggers on the fuselage side, the SH-2G can carry

    2 x Mk.46 ASW torpedo
    2 x Mk.50 ALWT torpedo
    Mk.11 depth charge
    2 x Penguin anti-ship missile
    2 x Maverick
    2 x Sea Skua anti-ship missile
    Hellfire missiles
    2.75 inch rockets
    Power plant 2 x General Electric T700-GE-401 turboshafts
    Power 2 x 1285 kW (1723 shp) contingency rating;
    2 x 1690 shp for 30 minutes maximum
    2 x 1437 shp maximum continuous.
    Fuel consumption 0.21 kg/h/shp at intermediate power
    Fuselage length 44ft (13.5m)
    Width 12'4"ft (3.73m)
    Height 15ft (4.62m) over tail rotor
    Main Rotor Diameter 44ft 4in (13.5m)
    Tail rotor diameter 8ft (2.46m)
    Empty Weight 7,600lb (3,447kg)
    Max Loaded Weight 13,500lb(6,124kg)
    Fuel 1800 l /476 US gal)
    Useful load 2300 kg
    Cargo hook capacity 1810 kg
    Max. take-off weigth 6115 kg
    Max. level speed 159mph (256km/h) at sea level
    Normal cruise speed 222 km/h (120 kts)
    Max. climb rate2,070 feet/min with Two Auxiliary Fuel Tanks (at sea level)
    1,305 feet/min with One Engine (at sea level)
    Service ceiling 20400 ft (6218m)
    Hover in ground effect 17600 ft (5365m)
    Hover out of ground effect 14600 ft (4450m)
    Max. range 450 nautical miles (with 2 auxiliary fuel tanks)
    1000 km (540 NM) at 5000 ft also cited
    Max. Endurance 4.5 hours at 5000 feet
    5.3 hrs at 5000 ft also cited
    Costs In 1993 the SH-2F to SH-2G conversion was quoted as $12 million.
    Ten for Egypt cost $150 million
    Customers US Navy - 6 new (plus rebuilds from SH-2Fs)
    Egypt - 10 (rebuilds)
    Australia - 11 (rebuilds)
    New Zealand - 4 (rebuilds)

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    Maintained by Robert Sherman
    Originally created by John Pike
    Updated Wednesday, December 30, 1998 12:56:09 PM