SIKORSKY SH-60B ANTISUBMARINE WARFARE (ASW) HELICOPTER

3 12 2010

The newest addition to Pacific Aviation Museum’s collection is a Navy SH-60B Seahawk helicopter. The Sikorsky Seahawk is a navalized version of the Army’s UH-60 Blackhawk. The Army began using the Blackhawk in 1979. The Navy quickly saw the Blackhawk as a good foundation for replacing its SH-2 Sea Sprite, which was protecting individual ships such as frigates, destroyers, and cruisers, which often have to operate outside of the fleet’s protection umbrella. In effect, the Sea Sprite was a self-contained antisubmarine warfare (ASW) system. The 1960s-vintage Sea Sprite was too small and underpowered to support the Navy’s new LAMPS II avionics system. The Blackhawk was the ideal size for the new system, and most of its development cost had already occurred. The Navy called its Sea Sprite replacement the SH-60B, where the “S” stands for antisubmarine warfare. The Navy began using the Seahawk in 1984.

Although the AH-6B Seahawk is primarily an antisubmarine warfare aircraft, it has secondary capabilities for rescue and anti-surface warfare. Like all naval versions, it has a personnel winch for rescue purposes. In addition, all Blackhawk derivatives are highly modular, and the Seahawk’s torpedoes can be replaced by hellfire guided missiles, and it can carry machine guns or even a 30 mm cannon (although the cannon is primarily for clearing minefields).

The Navy was very happy with the Seahawk, so it ordered versions to replace many of its other helicopters. For central fleet protection, the Navy used the big Vietnam War-era SH-3 Sea King. The Navy replaced the Sea King with the SH-60F Seahawk. For Marine troop assault, the MH-60S Seahawk replaced the Vietnam-era CH-46 Sea Knight assault helicopter. The “M” stands for “multimission.”

An ASW helicopter needs to find enemy submarines lurking near the fleet. One way to do this is to deploy a long wire behind the helicopter. This magnetic anomaly detector, or MAD, can detect the presence of submarines at considerable depth. The SH-60B has its MAD boom on the right rear of the aircraft. Read the rest of this entry »





3rd Anniversary, a Fundraiser

19 10 2009

The public is invited to spend an evening at the Museum with military, civic and community dignitaries on historic Ford Island. This Anniversary, the Museum will be honoring Medal of Honor Recipient Captain Thomas J. Hudner, Jr. USN (Ret.) and the evening’s Honorary Chair is celebrity Jim Nabors with an evening full of music and entertainment.

Guests will be among the first visitors to get up close and personal with the Museum’s four newest aircraft: MiG-15, F-4 Phantom II, F-102A Delta Dagger, and a F-86A Sabre. Guests will participate in an evening of dining, silent and live auction to benefit the Museum’s fundraising efforts. Medal of Honor Recipient Thomas J. Hudner, Jr. USN (Ret.) will be the honorary speaker for the evening.

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Pacific Aviation Museum is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization. Its mission is to develop and maintain an internationally recognized aviation museum on historic Ford Island that educates young and old alike, honors aviators and their support personnel who defended freedom in The Pacific Region, and preserves Pacific aviation history.

Pacific Aviation Museum Pearl Harbor is located at 319 Lexington Boulevard in Hangar 37 and 79 on Ford Island at Pearl Harbor. Tickets and sponsorships are available, please contact Development Consultant Donna Bebber at 808/441-1006 or 808/741-1041 (cell), Donnab@PacificAviationMuseum.org.