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SH-60B Seahawk

The SH-60B is designed to operate as an integral fighting unit aboard specifically configured OLIVER HAZARD PERRY (FFG-7) class Guided Missile Frigates, SPRUANCE (DDG-963) class Destroyers, KIDD (DDG-993), class Guided Missile Destroyers and TICONDEROGA (CG-47) class Guided Missile Cruisers. What makes the SH-60B different from other helicopters (such as the Army's BLACKHAWK) is its capability to fully integrate with LAMPS capable warships. The Light Airborne Multipurpose System (LAMPS) is part of a complete weapon (ship/air) system designed to maintain part of our national defense program: to keep sea lanes open, and to protect high value military and commercial ships during a major conflict. The SH-60B has a large suite of electronic sensors including radar, electronic support measures (ESM), forward looking infrared (FLIR), and passive/active underwater acoustic devices (sonobouys). All of this equipment is networked into a centralized tactical computer allowing the aircraft to act as a distant and elevated platform for sensors, remote classification/detection, and weapon delivery. All of the information gathered by aircraft sensors are passed back to the ship via a high speed digital radio signal. Personnel located in the ship's Combat Information Center (CIC) can not only view the "downlinked" information in real time, but can also control many of the helicopter's systems remotely. This system extends the ship's sensor, tactical control and attack capabilities while minimizing the risk of counterattack or detection by an enemy.

The LAMPS project is a $3.9 billion dollar long range program that is the Navy's reaction to a deficiency in surface fleet antisubmarine warfare (ASW). The program evolved in 1970 from an urgent requirement of the Chief of Naval Operations (CNO) for a program to develop a manned helicopter that would support and serve as a ship's tactical ASW air arm. The advanced sensors, processors, and display capabilities aboard the helicopter would enable the ship to extend its capabilities beyond the classic line-of-sight limitations for surface threats, and the distance limitations for acoustic detection, prosecution and attack of underwater threats.

To meet Under-Sea Warfare (USW) needs, the United States Navy developed the Light Airborne Multi-Purpose System (LAMPS). The LAMPS role initially was filled (in the early 1970s) by the installation of shipboard equipment and conversion of the Kaman SH-2 Seasprite helicopter (already in the Navy's inventory) to a LAMPS configuration. As that proved successful, the Navy planned for a Mk II version employing similar electronics but different helicopter platforms. In FY 1972, the CNO abandoned LAMPS Mk II in favor of the Mk III system.

LAMPS MK III, the second generation LAMPS system introduced in 1984 utilizing the Sikorsky SH60-B Seahawk helicopter, improved upon the capabilities provided by the first generation, providing cruisers, destroyers and frigates with a fully integrated weapon system for primary support in USW and SUW roles. The SH-60B helicopter is configured specifically in response to the LAMPS requirement of the U.S. Navy. The easiest way to externally identify a LAMPS helicopter is the large cylindrical fairing under the nose, housing the 360-degree-a MAD, an electronic surveillance/ support measures (ESM) system, missile jamming equipment and missile plume detectors.

The LAMPS MK III is a major weapons system designed to dramatically increase the war fighting capabilities of the surface combatant in a multi-threat environment. LAMPS MK III embodies a ship and air integration concept in which an air vehicle is used as an extension of the surveillance and attack systems of the ship. The LAMPS MK III SH-60B Seahawk helicopter provides a distant and elevated platform for sensors (such as radar and electronic support measures) and the remote delivery of weapons (MK-46 & MK-50 Torpedoes, AGM-119B Penguin and AGM-114B/K Hellfire missiles). The ship provides tactical direction, acoustic sensor processing, redetection, and evaluation in the execution of its primary and secondary missions through a digital, real-time Data Link.

The LAMPS MK III system bas been designed to the Navy's sea control mission. In fulfilling the mission, LAMPS MK III will encounter a threat that has many dimensions. The threat encompasses a hostile submarine fleet and missile-equipped surface ships. The system extends the search and attack capabilities of LAMPS MK III configured destroyer, frigate, and cruiser platforms,deploying helicopters directly from these ships.

The primary missions of the LAMPS MK III are those of ASW and ASUW. In an ASW mission, the aircraft is deployed from the parent ship to classify, localize, and potentially attack when a suspected threat has been detected by the ship's towed-array sonar, hull-mounted sonar, or by other internal or external sources. The ASW mission requires the crew to track a submarine using sonobuoys. The sonobuoys are placed in patterns and provide the direction from which a sound is emanating underwater. The helicopter's crew can track and, if necessary, attack the sub utilizing a MK-46 or MK-50 torpedo.

LAMPS Mk III added improved electronics as well as greater range, and the Recovery, Assist, Securing, and Traversing (RAST) system for all-weather shipboard recovery. This aircraft "haul-down" system expands LAMPS aircraft recovery to a sea-state Condition 5 (winds to 33 knots, and sea wave swells to 13 feet). The S-70L, since designated SH-60B Seahawk, was United Technology Sikorsky Division's submission for the Navy's LAMPS Mk III competition. It was selected as the winner in September 1977 in preference to the Boeing Vertol's Model 237, Detail design of the Seahawk was initiated by a U.S. Navy award to Sikorsky of $2.7 million sustaining engineering contract. Concurrently, General Electric was given a $547,000 contract for further development of the T700-GE-401 advanced turboshaft engine to provide increased power and improved corrosion resistance. Additionally, a $17.9 million contract went to IBM Federal Systems to continue development of the avionics essential for the SH-60B to fulfill the LAMPS Mk III role.

LAMPS MK III completed OPEVAL in February 1982 and was found to be effective and suitable. FOT&E which tested the LAMPS MK III Block I Upgrade was completed in 1993 with similar results. The LAMPS Block II Upgrade entered EMD in FY93 and building on the Block I Baseline, includes major avionics modifications. The Navy plans to install this upgrade in former SH-60B, SH-60F or HH-60H airframes that have undergone "remanufacture" in the H-60 Service Life Extension Program (SLEP), the resultant aircraft to be designated a SH-60R.

On 28 February 1978, it was announced that the U.S. Department of Defense (DOD) had authorized full scale development of the SH-60B and had awarded Sikorsky Aircraft a $109.3 million contract for the development, manufacture, and flight testing of five prototypes, plus a further airframe for ground testing. Earlier, Sikorsky had updated the original UH-60A Blackhawk mockup to SH-60B configuration, this aircraft was reviewed formally by Department of Defense officials prior to the announcement of the contract award, In July and August 1978, this mockup was used for shipboard compatibility trials (37k) on board the frigate USS Oliver Hazard Perry (FFG-7), and the Spruance class destroyer, USS Arthur W. Radford (DD-968).

In mid-September 1978, the Navy responded to congressional demands and reported to the Senate Armed Services Committee that it had restructured the LAMPS project to reflect $401.2 million in cuts without adversely affecting the $3.9 billion overall program. In earlier sessions, the House recommended ending the program in favor of updating the existing LAMPS Mk I system.

In February 1979, the main transmission of the SH-60B completed qualification trials during which it was tested to a maximum of 3600 shaft horsepower (shp). That performance was 600 shp in excess of the Navy's mission performance specifications. On 29 March 1979, it was announced that final assembly of the first Seahawk prototype (53k) had begun, and the first flight was made on 12 December 1979. The remaining four prototypes were flown in early mid-1980, and operational evaluation began in November of that year in time to obtain the results for a Defense System Acquisition Review Council (DSARC) at the Pentagon. With DSARC's support, the Navy was able to gain congressional approval to procure 204 of these new helicopters for deployment onboard 114 naval ships of three classes: the DD-963 Spruance class destroyer, the CG-47 Ticonderoga class cruiser, and the FFG-7 Oliver Hazard Perry class guided missile frigate.

The SH-60B Seahawk is a single main rotor, twin-engine helicopter, manufactured by United Technologies Corporation, Sikorsky Division. The 21,000 pound SH-60B Seahawk is powered by two 1940 SHP turbo-shaft engines and has a maximum speed of 180 knots. With an endurance of three to four hours depending on its mission profile, the Seahawk can patrol out to a range in excess of 100 NM. The SH-60B can carry a substantial amount of cargo for vertical replenishment missions, either internal or slung from its 6000-lb test cargo hook.

The helicopter has a 20 tractor type canted tail rotor, a controllable stabilator, conventional fixed landing gear, emergency flotation , an external cargo hook, a rescue hoist, and bomb racks for carrying and launching external stores. In addition, it is equipped with a flight-rated auxiliary power unit, a sonobuoy launch system, an anti-ice system, a fire-extinguishing system, an enviromental control system, an automatic flight control system, a single-point pressure refueling system, a helicopter in-flight refueling system, and the necessary avionics and instrumentation for instrument flight and mission accomplishment.

The Seahawk helicopter differs from other helicopters in the Navy inventory in that, the Recovery Assist, Secure and Traverse (RAST) landing system is used. This system allows for recovery of aircraft in high sea states (6 degrees pitch, and 15 degrees roll). During RAST operations, the helicopter lowers a messenger cable that is connected to the ship's haul down cable. The messenger cable is raised and locked into the helicopter's RAST probe. Four thousand PSI of force is applied to the haul down cable which guides the probe into the locking beams of the Rapid Securing Device (RSD). The RSD also serves as the motive force to traverse the helicopter into and out of the hanger. The main rotor blades and tail pylon can be folded for storage. Movement of the SH-60B by hand is prohibited except during emergencies due to the 15,500 pound empty weight. In addition, the helicopter can operate from non-RAST equipped combatants and a variety of other naval ships.

The SH-60B typically has a crew of three: a pilot, an airborne tactical officer (ATO) and a sensor operator, or "senso." The ATO is responsible for the tactical situation, deciding what assets will be used to prosecute the target and handling the coordination of other assets on scene. The presence of two pilots enables the helicopter to be operated safely at all hours and in most weather conditions. The sensor operator is an enlisted Sailor who operates the radar and magnetic anomaly detector (MAD) equipment, interprets acoustic data and performs SAR rescues. All sensos must maintain their qualifications as rescue swimmers. Although the normal crew is three, the Seahawk can carry two passengers for transfer.

Helicopters deployed aboard ships are supported by approximately 30 shipboard personnel during flight operations, including the Anti-Submarine Tactical Air Controller (ASTAC), Helicopter Control Officer (HCO), Landing Signalmen Enlisted (LSE), Safety Officers, chock-and-chain handlers, fire party members, phone talkers, and "grapes" - the fuel handlers so named for the purple color of their flight deck jerseys. The professionalism and enthusiasm of these sailors, together with the knowledge and experience of the bridge team, directly contribute to the safe operating environment.

In an USW mission, the aircraft is deployed from the parent ship to classify, localize, and potentially attack when a suspected threat has been detected by the ship's towed-array sonar, hull-mounted sonar, or by other internal or external sources. When used in an ASUW mission, the aircraft provides a mobile, elevated platform for observing, identifying, and localizing threat platforms beyond the parent ship's radar and/or electronic support measure (ESM) horizon. When a suspected threat is detected, classification and targeting data is provided to the parent ship via the datalink for surface-to-surface weapon engagement. Penguin missile equipped aircraft may conduct independent or coordinated attack, dependent upon the threat and tactical scenario.

Secondary missions include search and rescue (SAR), medical evacuation (MEDEVAC), vertical replenishment (VERTREP), naval gunfire support (NGFS), and communications relay (COMREL). In the VERTREP mission, the aircraft is able to transfer material and personnel between ships, or between ship and shore. In the SAR mission, the aircraft is designed to search for and locate a particular target/object/ship or plane and to rescue personnel using the rescue hoist. In the MEDEVAC mission, the aircraft provides for the medical evacuation of ambulatory and litterbound patients. In the COMREL mission, the aicraft serves as a receiver and transmitter relay station for over-the-horizon (OTH) communications between units. In the NGFS mission, the aircraft provides a platform for spotting and controlling naval gunfire from either the parent ship or other units.

The flexibility of today's LAMPS aircraft and crews to perform these missions has placed LAMPS detachments in high demand. The aviators and their maintenance crews are some of the most highly trained professionals in the Naval service today. Employing a secure datalink and equipment allowing flight operations in any weather condition, LAMPS detachments are critical elements in the data collection/weapons delivery arena. Today's LAMPS detachments possess the necessary capabilities to operate offensively in the highly dynamic surface and sub-surface environments, or defensively in the high density air warfare environment as a key part of a Carrier Battle Group, Amphibious Assault Group or Surface Action Group. Additionally, these detachments can operate independently in conjunction with surface ships configured with or without LAMPS MK III weapons systems. In any role, the SH-60B with its unique sensor suite and integrated weapon system, extends and expands the warfighting capabilities of the parent ship well beyond the horizon.

SH-60B Aircraft prior to BUNO 162349 are capable of the antiship surveillance and targeting (ASST) and ASW roles only. Effective with BUNO 162349 and subsequent, LAMPS MK III are equipped to employ the Mk 2 Mod 7 Penguin missile. LAMPS MK III equipped with the missile can be used in the additional role of ASUW attack. This recent SH-60B modification incorporated the ability to carry the AGM-119B Penguin missile, giving the Seahawka potent surface strike capability. When used in an ASUW mission, the aircraft provides a mobile, elevated platform for observing, identifying, and localizing threat platfoms beyond the parent ship's radar and/or electronic support measure (ESM) horizon. When a suspected threat is detected, classification and targeting data is provided to the parent ship via the datalink for surface-to-surface weapon engagement. Penguin missile equipped aircraft may conduct independent or coordinated attack, dependent upon the threat and tactical scenario. The Penguin is launched at a surface target acquired on the helicopter's radar. Once launched it becomes a "fire-and-forget" weapon which automatically homes in on its target. The Global Positioning System has also become standard equipment on most SH-60Bs. Some LAMPS MK III Seahawks already carry Hellfire missiles and night vision goggles. In addition, funding has been allocated to retrofit all SH-60Bs in the HSL community with forward-looking infrared (FLIR) sensors.

There are two data link antennas--one forward and one aft on the underside of the aircraft. The search radar antenna is also located on the underside of the aircraft. Other antennas (UHF/VHF, HF, radar altimeter, TACAN, ESM, sonobuoy receivers, doppler, ADF, IFF, and GPS) are located at various points on the helicopter.

The left inboard, left outboard, and right weapon pylons accommodate BRU-14/A weapon/stores racks. Fittings for torpedo parachute release lanyards are located on the fuselage aft of each weapon pylon. Effective on BUNO 162349 and subsequent, the left and right inboard pylons have wiring and tubing provisions for auxiliary fuel tanks. All pylons have wiring provisions to accommodate the MK 50 torpedo. The left outboard weapon pylon can accommodate a missile launch assembly (MLA) which is used to mount the MK 2 MOD 7 Penguin air-to-surface missile.

The magnetic anomaly detector (MAD) towed body and reeling machine are mounted on a faired structure that extends from the forward tail-cone transition section on the right side of the aircraft. It is positioned above and aft of the right weapon pylon. The sonobuoy launcher is located on the left side of the aircraft above the left weapon pylon. The sonobuoy launcher is loaded from ground level outside the aircraft. Sonobuoys are pneumatically launched laterally to the left of the aircraft.

The airborne RAST system main probe and external cargo hook are on the bottom fuselage centerline, just aft of the main rotor center line. Fuel service connections, for both gravity and pressure refueling, are located on the left side of the aircraft aft of the weapon pylons. Dual-engine water wash is manifolded from a single-point selector valve connector on the left side of the aircraft above the sensor operator's (SO) window.

The long strokes of both main and tail wheel oleos are designed to dissipate high-sink-rate landing energy. Axle and high-point tie downs are provided at each main gear. Fuselage attachments are provided above the tail gear for connection to the RAST tail-guide winch system allowing aircraft maneuvering and straightening aboard ship and for tail pylon tie down. Emergency flotation bags are installed in the stub wing fairing of the main landing gear on both sides of the aircraft.

Hinged doors on each side of the cockpit provide normal access to and from that station. A sliding door on the right side of the fuselage provides access to and from the cabin.

The sensor operator's (SO) console is located in the cabin, as well as provisions for a removable instructor/passenger seat, a passenger seat, and a litter. The ATO station is located on the left side of the aircraft cockpit. It is equipped with, or offers access to, a full complement of aircraft flight controls and instruments.

The overhead console, located above the pilot and ATO stations, contains aircraft system control panels involving circuit breakers, console/instrument light controls, external light controls, fire-extinguisher controls, engine controls, and several miscellaneous controls. The lower console is located in the cockpit between the pilot and ATO stations. It contains the ATO avionics, AFCS, and communications controls. The lower console is accessible by either the ATO or the pilot. The ATO's keyset is located on the lower console. The multipurpose display (MPD) is located on the instrument panel between the ATO flight instrument panel and a caution/advisory panel. The collective on the ATO's side telescopes to allow improved cockpit ingress and egress. In addition, locations are provided in the cabin for two fire extinguishers, two first aid kits, two canteens, a relief bag container, a crash axe, a map case, and a back-up messenger kit.

The cabin is arranged with the SO station on the left. facing forward. Most of the components of the avionics system are physically located in the SO console rack, situated aft of the ATO's seat, and in the mission avionics rack (MAR), situated aft of the pilot's seat. The SO console contains the necessary controls and indicators for the SO to perform the missions of antisurface warfare (ASUW) and antisubmarine warfare (ASW). To the right of the SO station seat is a seat which accommodates an instructor or, if desired, an additional passenger. The primary passenger seat is on the aft cabin bulkhead, located on the right side. The hoist controls and hover-trim panel are located adjacent to the cabin door. The cargo hook hatch is located forward of the RAST probe housing.

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