December 12, 1979 marked the first flight of the US Navy’s Sikorsky SH-60/MH-60 Seahawk.
Derived from the Army’s UH-60 Blackhawk the Navy uses the Seahawk in a variety of missions including anti-submarine warfare, anti-surface ship warfare, search and rescue, replenishment, mine detection and medical evacuation. It entered service for the Navy on 22 June 1989.
Watch Navy Rescue Swimmers Jump From Seahawk
Navy H-60’s all carry a rescue hoist which is always handy to pull a downed aviator out of the water. They also have a hinged tail section to give it a smaller footprint for shipboard operations.
The MH-60S is the first Navy helicopter to have a glass cockpit with four digital monitors. It can be equipped with a nose mounted forward looking infrared (FLIR) turret to be used in conjunction with hellfire missiles as well as carrying machine guns for self defense. Up to three torpedoes can also be fitted on the aircraft and the AGM-119 “Penguin” anti-ship missile.
Watch Navy Seahawk Fire a Hellfire Missile
The standard crew for a MH-60S is one pilot, one copilot and two tactical aircrew members. The per unit cost is estimated to be between $28 and $42 million. Having a length of 64 feet and a height of 17 feet the Seahawk has a maximum speed of 168 mile per hour (mph), a service ceiling of 12,000 feet and a useful load of 6884 pounds.
Watch Navy Seahawk Haul Cargo
Featured Image Courtesy of U.S. Navy photo by Photographer’s Mate 2nd Class Lisa Aman. [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons