The SH-60F Oceanhawk was developed by the U.S. Navy to replace the SH-3H Sea King carrier support helicopter. A prototype SH-60F (modified from an existing SH-60B) was built and first flown in march of 1987. The SH-60F entered service with the fleet aboard the USS Nimitz (HS-2) in 1991.
Production of the SH-60F was discontinued at 82 aircraft in December of 1994.
The SH-60F is currently in active service with the fleet, though it is being replaced by the MH-60R as aircraft become available.
Airframe and general capabilities
The SH-60F is a twin-engined medium lift utility helicopter. It is equipped with a single 4-bladed rotor and a single 4-bladed tail rotor. The basic crew compliment for the SH-60F is four; pilot, co-pilot/ATO, an enlisted tactical sensor operator (TSO) and an enlisted acoustic sensor operator (ASO). The SH-60F can accommodate 3 passengers.
The SH-60F was designed to serve as a carrier based equivalent to the submarine hunting SH-60B, as well as replace the retired SH-3H Sea King in the role of SAR, plane guard, and fleet logistical support. How the SH-60F carries out these missions, however, is slightly different. Where the SH-60B is a stand-alone asset, designed to prosecute contacts on its own, the SH-60F is not designed to operate independently, but rather as part of a networked team of helicopters, ship-borne sensors, and aircraft. The SH-60F lacks the under-chin surface search radar of the SH-60B, but in its place the Oceanhawk is equipped with a dipping sonar which it can use to actively look for submerged targets. In addition, the Oceanhawk has a reduced sonobouy capability (8 vice 25 on the SH-60B) but it is equipped with more advanced and system integrated electronics, which allow it to more effectively process contact data from multiple sources.
The Oceanhawk has a single rearward sliding and lockable door located the right side for access to the cargo compartment. There are a pair of sliding doors located on the left hand side of the cargo compartment which may be opened in flight for observation. The SH-60F is equipped with an externally mounted 600-pound rescue hoist located on the right-hand side of the airframe. The Oceanhawk has had all RAST equipment and LAMPS avionics and fairings removed, though attachment points for this equipment were retained. External weapons and auxiliary systems are mounted on a pair of weapon pylons mounted aft of the cargo/crew compartment. The right-hand wing will accommodate a single weapon or external fuel tank, while the left-hand pylon will accommodate two weapons.
The SH-60F utilizes the same shortened and reinforced landing gear arrangement as the SH-60B. The Oceanhawk is capable of hovering, in-flight refueling. As with the SH-60B, the Oceanhawk features an automated main rotor blade folding system and manually folding tailplane.
The SH-60F Oceanhawk is equipped with the same two 1,800 shp T700-GE-401C turboshaft engines found in the current SH-60B Seahawk. Internal fuel capacity totals 590 gallons, and the helicopter can be equipped with two pylon mounted auxiliary tanks rated to 120 gallons each.
The empty weight of the SH-60F is 13,648 pounds, while the mission take off weight is 21,110 pounds and the maximum take off weight is 23,500 pounds. The external cargo carrying capacity (cargo hook) is 6,000 pounds and the internal cargo capacity is 4,100 pounds.
The maximum level speed of the SH-60F is 145 knots (167 miles per hour) while the cruising speed is 139 knots (160 miles per hour.) The service ceiling is 19,000 ft (5,790 m.)
Maximum range of the SH-60F on internal fuel and at maximum take-off weight is 380 nautical miles (437 statute miles.) The maximum mission range with one hour of loiter time is 150 nautical miles while the Seahawk has a three hour loiter time out to 50 nautical miles.
The SH-60F is equipped with VHF-FM, UHF-FM, and VHF-AM/FM radios, as well as encrypted IFF recognition system. For ASW operations, the SH-60F is equipped with an AN/AQS-13F passive/active dipping sonar with 1,500 feet of cable. For processing sonobouy and sonar data the SH-60F is equipped with the AN/ARR-84 data receiver.
To help with sonar positioning and to reduce crew task loading and fatigue, the SH-60F is equipped with AN/ASN-150 tactical navigation computer which makes the helicopter capable of GPS-doppler autohovering.
The standard armament for the SH-60F is a combination of up to three externally mounted Mk. 46/Mk. 50 lightweight ASW torpedoes or the AGM-119B Penguin Mk. 2 mod 7 anti-ship missile. The SH-60F is hellfire (AGM-114) capable. For self-defense against surface threats, the SH-60B can be equipped with two pintle-mounted M-60/M-240 machineguns.