Kaman SH-2 Seasprite | Multi-role naval helicopter

Kaman SH-2 Seasprite
Kaman SH-2 Seasprite

Militarymedia.net | The H-2 Seasprite was developed in response to the U.S. Navy's 1956 requirement for a ship-borne high-speed and all-weather helicopter, which would perform long-range SAR, liaison, and utility missions. The first prototype or four made its maiden flight in 1959. The type entered production as the UH-2A. In the mid-60s about 170 UA-2A and UH-2B helicopters were produced.

The initial production helicopter was operated by a crew of two. It could carry around 10 soldiers or cargo.

The UH-2A and UH-2B helicopters have a single General Electric engine, developing 1,250 shp. The rotor blades can be folded for easy placement on the boat.

Subsequent variants were progressively upgraded and upgraded, gaining a second engine, dual main wheels, and a four-bladed tail rotor. The most widespread is the anti-submarine version of this helicopter.

Kaman SH-2 Seasprite Variant

Early production model UH-2A, intended for search & rescue, liaison and utility missions.

The UH-2B utility carrier helicopter, similar to the UH-2A. A total of 102 of these helicopters were built.

The UH-2C variant with two General Electric T-58-GE-8B engines, producing 1275 shp each. The helicopter is also equipped with new electronic equipment for operation in adverse weather conditions. It was also equipped with multiple armor armor and armed with three machine guns. Since 1967 all previous production UH-2A and UH-2B helicopters have been upgraded to this standard.

HH-2C armed search & rescue variant. It was used by the US Marine Corps during the war in Vietnam.

The search & rescue variant of the HH-2D, operated by the US Coast Guard. Six of these helicopters were delivered in 1970.

SH-2D, a special version of anti-submarine warfare. Operated by a crew of three. The US Navy selected the SH-2D as the interim LAMPS I (Light Airborne Multi-Purpose System Mk I) platform. It was equipped with an under-nose search radar radome, a magnetic anomaly detector on the starboard fuselage and a detachable sonobuoy rack. The SH-2D entered service in 1972. A total of 20 helicopters were converted to the SH-2D standard.

SH-2F definitive anti-submarine version. It provides an external defense screen for the carrier battle group. It was also used for targeting anti-ship missiles over the horizon. The SH-2F was equipped with upgraded T58-GE-8F engines (350 shp each), upgraded main rotors, strengthened landing gear. A tailwheel is moved further forward. The helicopter is also equipped with an upgraded Marconi LN-66HP surface search radar, towed MAD bird, as well as tactical navigation and communication systems. Deliveries of this version began in 1973. About 88 helicopters were converted from the previous variant. During the 1991 Gulf War, the SH-2F tested the ML-30 Magic Lantern laser subsurface mine detector.

The SH-2G Super Seasprite is a modernized and upgraded version. It entered service in 1991. Six of these helicopters were built as new, plus 17 converted from the previous SH-2F model. The SH-2G was the last US Navy helicopter to fly the LAMPS I ASW mission. Then the active duty SH-60 fleet carried the upgraded LAMPS III system. Two SH-2G squadrons were relaunched to undertake new missions, such as remote surveillance, anti-surface and anti-submarine warfare, search and rescue, air mine countermeasures and utility missions. The Super Seaprite was retired from the US Navy in 2004. However other countries, such as Egypt, New Zealand, Peru and Poland are actively using these capable helicopters. Some of these were rebuilt and upgraded from US Navy stock. Egypt received 10 SH-2G(E) rebuilt in 1997. Royal Australian Navy received 11 SH-2G(A) helicopters and New Zealand Navy - 4 SH-2G(NZ) helicopters. It entered service in 2001.

Kaman SH-2 Seasprite
Kaman SH-2 Seasprite
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