US Navy ASW and ASuW helicopters & Squadrons


Jeff Head

General
Staff member
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Here's an analysis of the two types of helicopters the US Navy is now fielding, and plans to field on a go-forward basis, on its carriers (they also server on the LCS, FFGs, DDGs, CGs, and can serve on the LHA and LHD, as well as LPDs).

There are two types of squadrons called out, and each squadron will fly one of the two helicopters.

US NAVY AIRCRAFT CARRIER HELICOPTER SQUARDON TYPES

HSM - Helicopter Strike Maritime which will fly the MH-60R Seahawk

HSC - Helicopter Sea Combat which will fly the MH-60S Knighthawk

Here is a list of the two different functions/missions (with some overlap) that the two types of squardons perform:




HSM - Helicopter Strike Maritime:

Primary Missions:
ASW - Anti-submarine Warfare
ASuW - Anti-surface warfare

Secondary Missions:
SAR - Search and Rescue
MEDEVAC - Medical Evacuation
VERTREP - Vertical Replenishment
COMREL - Communications Relay
NGFS - Naval Gunfire Support




HSC - Helicopter Sea Combat

Primary Missions:
VERTREP - Vertical Replenishment
SPECOPS - Special Operations Support
AMCM - Airborne Mine Countermeasure (with kit)
CSAR - Combat Search and Rescue (with kit)

Secondary Missions:
ASuW - Anti-surface Warfare
ASW - Anti-submarine Warfare

US NAVY AIRCRAFT CARRIER HELICOPTER TYPES

The two helicopters differ in order to best enable them to perform their primary missions. They can also have additional weapons and sensors added to help them perform in a secondary role in the other missions, but principally, that is what the other squardons are for. But this does allow for overlap, flexibility, and contigencies in case of mechanical breakdown or combat loss.

The MH-60R Seahawk Helicopter:




The MH-60R Seahawk was developed in the early 2000s as a more robust and capable follow-on to the SH-60B and the SH-60F helcopters and combined the capabilities of both into one helicopter, particularly their Anti-submarine capabilities.

As such the aircraft are loaded up with a mutlitude of very strong sensors and radar to allow them to do these missions. In addition, they have had significant surface targeting and guidance added for air to surface weapons like the Hellfire and Penguin missiles so they can act in the anti-surface role.

The MH-60R first flew in 1999, was delivered to the fleet in 2001, and achieved operational status in 2006.

Current inventory is 145 aircraft of a projected 290 planned.

Here are the MH-60R specifications:

Length: 64'8" (19.74 m)
Height: 17'2" (5.2 m)
Width Rotor: 53'7" (16.35 m)
Speed (Max): 175 mph (285 km/h)
Service Ceiling: 12,000 ft. (3,580 m)
Range: 450 nmi (835 km) (w/tanks)
Weight: 15,200 lbs. (6,895 kg)
Max Take-off Weight: 23,500 lbs. (10,682 kg)
Crew: 3-4 (Plus up to 5 passengers)
Radar: AN/APS-153 Multi-mode Radar w/ISAR and ARPDD
Sonar: AN/AQS-22 ALFS dipping sonar
ESM; AN/ALQ-210 Electronic Support MEasure System
ECM:
- AN/AAR-47Laser Missile warning Syustem
- AN/ALQ-144 Infrared Jammer
- AN/ALE-39 Chaf and flair decoy dispenser
FLIR: AN/AAS-44 Detection, tracking and laser range finder system
Armament:
ASW -
3 x Mk-54s or Mk-46 torpedos
ASuW -
8 x AGM-114 Hellfire Missiles -or-
2 x AGM-119 Penguin Missiles
Gun -
- M60 machine gun, or
- M240 machine gun, or
- GAU-16/A machine gun, or
- GAU-17/A Minigun








The MH-60S Knighthawk Helicopter:




The MH-60S Knighthawk was developed intially as a replacement of the CH-46 Sea Knight helciopter. After sea demonstrations by a converted UH-60, the Navy awarded production contract for CH-60S in 1998. It first flew in January 2000 and it began flight testing later that year. The CH-60S was redesignated MH-60S in February 2001 to reflect its planned multi-mission use. It first entered US Navy operational service in 2002.

The MH-60S is based on the UH-60L and although it includes many naval SH-60 features, the MH-60S is not based on the original S-70B/SH-60B platform with its forward-mounted twin tail-gear and single starboard sliding cabin door. Instead, the S-model is a hybrid, featuring the main fuselage of the S-70A/UH-60, with large sliding doors on both sides of the cabin and a single aft-mounted tail wheel; and the engines, drivetrain and rotors of the S-70B/SH-60.

In its multi-mission role, it has principally been designed and configured for the Vertical Replenishment and Speical Operations support, and through the use of mission kits, it can quickly also be adapted to its other primary roles of Combat Search and Rescue and Airborne Mine Counter Measures. Additional weaponry and sensors can be added to help it perform its secondary missions.

Current inventory is 223 aircraft of a projected 275 planned.

Here are the MH-60S specifications:

Length: 64'10" (19.8 m)
Height: 16' (4.9 m)
Width Rotor: 53'8" (16.4 m)
Speed (Max): 175 mph (285 km/h)
Service Ceiling: 12,000 ft. (3,580 m)
Range: 250 nmi (450 km)
Weight: 15,200 lbs. (6,895 kg)
Max Take-off Weight: 23,500 lbs. (10,682 kg)
Crew: 3-4 (Plus up to 20 troops)
Radar: AN/APS-153 Multi-mode Radar w/ISAR and ARPDD
AMCM (Airborne Mine Counter Measures Mission Kit)
- Raytheon AMNS
- BAE Systems Expendable Underwater Vehicle
- Northrup Grumman Rapid Airborne Mine Clarance (RAMICS)
- 30mm Mk-44 gun for mine destruction
- AN/AQS-20A Towed Sonar Mine Detection system
- AN/AES-1 ALMDS
CSAR (Combat Search and Rescure Kit)
- AN/ALQ-210 Electronic Support Measure System
- AN/AAS-44 FLIR
- AN/AAR-47v(2) Laser Missile warning System
- AN/ALQ-144v(6) Infrared countermeasures
- AN/APR-39AV(2) radar warner
ASW -
1 x Mk-54s or Mk-46 torpedo
ASuW -
8 x AGM-114 Hellfire Missiles
Gun -
- M60 machine gun, or
- M240 machine gun, or
- .50 cal gun





 
Last edited:

bd popeye

The Last Jedi
VIP Professional
This squadron;



was borne from this squadron;

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I was stationed with the HC-11 Gunbearers back in March '83 until April '85. Good squadron. Not my favorite command. it was a big click..I did not fit in. They transitioned to SH-60s back in 2000. They then were decommissioned and were re-commissioned as HSC-21 in 2005.

In the 80s their primary mission was vertical replenishment. We flew operated the CH-46 Sea Knight.

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THe squadron was sectioned off in 2 aircraft detachments with six pilots, a maintenance crew of about 15 sailors. The detachments deployed aboard AOE/AOR/AE type ships. I was assigned shore duty and did not deploy.
 

Jeff Head

General
Staff member
Super Moderator
This squadron;



was borne from this squadron;

Please, Log in or Register to view URLs content!


I was stationed with the HC-11 Gunbearers back in March '83 until April '85. Good squadron. Not my favorite command. it was a big click..I did not fit in. They transitioned to SH-60s back in 2000. They then were decommissioned and were re-commissioned as HSC-21 in 2005.

In the 80s their primary mission was vertical replenishment. We flew operated the CH-46 Sea Knight.

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THe squadron was sectioned off in 2 aircraft detachments with six pilots, a maintenance crew of about 15 sailors. The detachments deployed aboard AOE/AOR/AE type ships. I was assigned shore duty and did not deploy.
Great history, popeye!

Thanks.

Sounds like they will continue dioing VERTREP, but now with the MH-60S Knighthawks.
 

bd popeye

The Last Jedi
VIP Professional
We use to call the CH-46 Sea Knight the "Greyhound"..Guess why..:)

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Pacific Ocean (Mar. 20, 2004) - A CH-46 Sea Knight assigned to the "Gunbearers" of Helicopter Combat Support Squadron One One (HC-11) transfers ordnance to the flight deck of USS John C. Stennis (CVN 74) during a vertical replenishment (VERTREP) at sea. Stennis spent over nine hours alongside the fast combat support ship USS Sacramento (AOE 1) transferring over 900 pallets of ordnance and supplies. U.S. Navy photo by Photographer's Mate Third Class Mark J. Rebilas. (RELEASED)

One last thing.. our squadron motto was "Oh thank Heaven..for HC-ELEVEN"..no foolin'..
 

Jeff Head

General
Staff member
Super Moderator
We use to call the CH-46 Sea Knight the "Greyhound"..Guess why..:)
Hehehe...an old salt once told me that riding in the back of one was liking riding in the back of an old greyhound bus being driven by a drunken fool. Is that story wide spread enough to be the reaosn?
 

bd popeye

The Last Jedi
VIP Professional
Hehehe...an old salt once told me that riding in the back of one was liking riding in the back of an old greyhound bus being driven by a drunken fool. Is that story wide spread enough to be the reason?

They did shake quite a bit and were very noisy. The also leaked hydraulic fluid which was normal.

One of the things new squadron members got to do during the indoctrination class was take a ride in the CH-46. If the pilot was (LT) Mr Lehmen he'd do an auto rotation for a landing.. which is a controlled crash ..

no foolin'..

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Jeff Head

General
Staff member
Super Moderator
They did shake quite a bit and were very noisy. The also leaked hydraulic fluid which was normal.

One of the things new squadron members got to do during the indoctrination class was take a ride in the CH-46. If the pilot was (LT) Mr Lehmen he'd do an auto rotation for a landing.. which is a controlled crash ..

no foolin'..
Yep...auto-rotate is a very good things to have. Not all helos have it, but it can be a literal life saver for those that do.

Anyhow, popeye, did you see that they just unveiled the new CH-53K King Stallion to replace the CH-53E Super Stallions? Same size and look, but it uses a lot of composites (so lighter airframe), more powerful engines, all glass cockpit, etc.

I wonder if they will make a mine-hunter/killer version of it like they did with the MH-53E Sea Dragon?



 

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