SH-3 Sea King
Initial Operational Capability (IOC):
11 March 1959
Also Known As: AS-61R, CH-124, CH-3C, H-3H Sea King, HH-3A, HH-3E Jolly Green Giant, HH-3F Pelican, HSS-2, S-61, S-61R, S-61T, Sea King Mk 42B, Sea King Mk 42C, Sea King MK7, SH-3A Sea King, SH-3B Sea King, SH-3D Sea King, SH-3G, SH-3H Sea King, UH-3A, UH-3H Sea King, VH-3A, VH-3D and VH-3H
Origin: United States of America
Sikorsky Aircraft Corporation
Parent System: H-3 Sea King
Initial Operational Capability (IOC): 1961
Maiden Flight: 11 March 1959
Total Production: ?
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Description: H-3 is a shipborne, twin-engine, five-bladed main rotor helicopter developed by Sikorsky to meet the requirements of the US Navy for an Anti-Submarine Warfare (ASW) rotary-wing aircraft. Developed in late 1950s it was originally called the HSS-2 and S-61. It is powered by two General Electric T58-GE-10 turboshafts. Its primary mission is to detect, classify, track and destroy hostile submarines in all-weather conditions. It also provides logistic support, Airborne Early Warning (AEW), VIP transport and search and rescue (SAR) capabilities.
SH-3s are mainly ASW helicopters operated by the US Navy and equipped with dipping sonar, radar, sonobuoys, torpedoes, etc. UH-3s is an utility variant. VH-3s are intended for VIP transport. HH-3s are intended for SAR missions. S-61R or CH-3C were developed for the US Air Force. SH-3G was a SAR/cargo transport variant utilized by the US Navy. The majority of H-3 helicopters have been retired or will be retired in the upcoming decade.
In the 1990s the US Navy replaced its ASW SH-3 aircraft by new SH-60F Sea Hawk helicopters. Last two US Navy's H-3 Sea King conducted its final flight on January 27, 2006 clearing the way for their replacement, the MH-60S Nighthawk. Currently, HH-3 aircraft for SAR missions remain in service with the US Navy. HH-3s retirement date is expected beyond 2010. The United Kingdom plans call for a SH-3 out of service date by 2018. H-3 Sea King helicopters have been sold to international customers.
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