SH-3 Sea King | Anti-submarine warfare helicopter

SH-3 Sea King
SH-3 Sea King

Militarymedia.net | The S-61 was developed by Sikorsky in the late 1950s primarily for the carrier-based anti-submarine (ASW) role. It made its first flight in 1959. It was the world's first amphibious helicopter. The Sikorsky S-61 was adopted in 1961 by the US armed forces as the H-3. Various versions of this helicopter are widely used by the US Navy. Since the introduction of improved ASW, search and rescue (SAR) and transport models have emerged. Sikorsky licensed production of these helicopters to Agusta (Italy), Mitsubishi (Japan) and Westland (UK). There is also a civilian version of this helicopter. In the 1990s the US Navy replaced their Sea Kings with the more modern, but non-amphibious SH-60 Seahawks. The US Navy finally retired the H-3 fleet in 2006. However Sea King helicopters remain in widespread service around the world in a variety of roles. One version remains in service with the US Marine Corps. The largest carriers are Argentina, Brazil, Canada, Iran, Italy, Peru and Spain. They serve primarily in SAR roles in Denmark and Japan, and in transport/utility roles in Australia and Venezuela.

The baseline SH-3A Sea King ASW helicopter has a crew of 4, including 2 pilots and 2 operators. It can also carry 3 additional passengers.

This helicopter has a watertight hull. It has a pontoon with a floating bag, which gives the Sea King the ability to land on water.

The SH-3 has two General Electric T58-GE-10 turboshaft engines, producing 1,400 shp each. It was one of the first ASW helicopters to be equipped with a turboshaft engine.

Sea King has sonar and sonobuoy for submarine detection. This ASW helicopter has the capability to carry nuclear depth payloads. Some newer versions, such as the SH-3H carry two Mk 46/44 anti-submarine torpedoes.

This naval helicopter has a movable tail section. For storage under the carrier deck, the tail and main rotor blades are folded.

SH-3 Sea King Variant

The SH-3A is a basic anti-submarine warfare helicopter, used by the US Navy. Initially it was designated as HSS-2. A total of 245 of these helicopters were produced.

The HH-3A combat search and rescue helicopter used by the US Navy. A total of 12 helicopters were converted from the SH-3A.

CH-3A utility transport version for the US Air Force. Only 3 helicopters were converted from the SH-3A to this standard. Later this USAF helicopter was upgraded to the CH-3B standard.

US Navy RH-3A minesweeper helicopter. A total of 9 were converted from SH-3A.

VH-3A presidential and VIP transport, used by the US Marine Corps to transport the President of the United States. Corporate designation S-61V. A total of 8 of these helicopters were newly built, plus an additional 2 were rebuilt from the damaged SH-3A. In the late 1970s all VH-3A helicopters were returned to the US Navy. In 1979 it was replaced by the VH-3D, which is still in service.

CH-3B US Air Force utility transport version. Only 3 of these helicopters are operational. It is upgraded from the previous CH-3A, which in turn is converted from the basic SH-3A.

US Air Force CH-3C search and rescue variant. It made its first flight in 1963. This helicopter was used to recover downed pilots.

The SH-3D is an upgraded version of anti-submarine warfare. It has the company designation S-61B Sikorsky. It has been adopted by the US Navy as the SH-3D. A total of 73 helicopters were built from new. The other 2 were converted from SH-3A.

VH-3D is as a presidential and VIP transport. It is used by the US Marine Corps to carry the President of the United States. It was adopted in 1979 and replaced in this role the previous VH-3A. As of 2009 there were 11 VH-3D helicopters in service. As soon as the President boarded, the helicopter had a Marine One call sign. When carrying the Vice President, this helicopter has a Marine Two call sign.

US Air Force search and rescue version of the CH-3E. It is the successor to the CH-3C. It appeared in 1965 and had a more powerful engine. A total of 50 helicopters were built.

HH-3E, also known as the Jolly Green Giant. It was an improved version of the CH-3E for the US Air Force. The helicopter has a heavily revised fuselage with a conventional watertight hull instead of a ship's hull. Also has rear loading ramp. In addition, it has armored armor, self-sealing fuel tanks and an in-flight refueling probe. It is used for utilities and search and rescue. A total of 8 helicopters were built from new and all 50 previous CH-3Es were converted to this standard. The HH-3E paved the way for the larger CH-53 Sea Stallion.

Sea King or Pelican HH-3F. This is the version of the HH-3E used by the US Coast Guard for all-weather search and rescue. It had a search radar with a nose-mounted antenna.

US Navy SH-3G utility transport. A total of 105 were converted from SH-3As and SH-3Ds.

SH-3H multi-role helicopter. It is a further upgrade from the SH-3G, but has improved airframe, anti-submarine warfare equipment and several other improvements. For hunting submarines, surveillance radars and magnetic anomaly detectors are used. The new engines provide impressive performance in this relatively large helicopter. It can carry a huge load under it. It was the culmination of the development of the H-3 series. Some sources report that a total of 163 helicopters were upgraded to this standard. The SH-3H was removed from frontline US Navy service in 1995.

SH-3H AEW airborne early warning version of the Spanish Navy.

US Navy UH-3H utility carrier helicopter. It was converted from the SH-3H by removing the anti-submarine warfare system.

CH-124 Sea King. This is the Canadian version, produced locally in Canada. Originally built as an ASW helicopter. A total of 41 of these helicopters were built. However some of the upgraded helicopters receive additional utility transport capabilities. It was in service from 1963 to 2018.

The Westland Sea King is a specially modified variant for the Royal Navy. This helicopter is manufactured under license by Westland in the UK. It had British avionics and anti-submarine equipment. The Westland Sea King first flew in 1969 and was adopted by the Royal Navy in 1970. It was also used by the Royal Air Force for search and rescue operations. Westland built approximately 340 Sea Kings for ASW, AEW and assault transport roles. This helicopter has been exported to a number of countries.

The Agusta AS-61, a version of the Sikorsky S-61, is produced under license in Italy. The AS-61R can carry a machine gun for a combat SAR role.

The Mitsubishi S-61, a version of the Sikorsky S-61, is produced under license in Japan for the Japan Maritime Self-Defense Forces.

SH-3 Sea King
SH-3 Sea King
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