(Note: This is pretty heavily laden with acronyms, which for the sake of continuity I have explained at the bottom. This is off the top of my head as well, and based in part on various NAVAIR and Sikorsky maintenance manuals. This mainly concerns the SH-60B although the 60F is touched on here and there. If anyone else would like to add more detail concerning the 60F, please feel free.)
The Sikorsky SH-60B Seahawk is the primary anti-submarine platform used by the United States Navy. (60's are exported to other countries as the S-70.) Introduced into service in 1982 with BUNO number 161553 (HSL-41's A/C 00,) the aircraft eventually replaced in entirety the Kaman SH-2G Seasprite with the advent of LAMPS Mk III. In addition to the obvious anti-submarine mission, the 60 is also used for logistics, littoral warfare, maritime interdiction, over-the-horizon sensor scanning (60B only,) search and rescue operations and special operations. (The 60B has a limited at best use in SPECOPS. 60F's and SH-60H's from HS squadrons usually fill this role.)
It has a normal crew of two officers, (pilot or HAC and ATO,) and one enlisted Airborne Warfare Systems operator who doubles as a SAR swimmer. In the event of a PAX transfer or actual SAR mission the aicraft can carry as many as two passengers other than the normal crew. SH-60B's typically operate from smaller ships, (CG's, FFG's and DD's,) while SH-60F's operate from aircraft carriers, (CV's and CVN's.)
Currently, this aircraft is flown by all of the Navy's active duty sea and shore HSL and HS assets. HS squadrons fly the SH-60F only, with HSL flying the SH-60B only. With the SH-60R program now online and working, (despite the halving of the purchase,) HS and HSL squadrons may soon begin flying the same model of aircraft.
This has led to a considerable debate among certain elements in senior leadership concerning the point of maintaining two seperate types of squadron. Debates have been held and I have heard rumors that the HSL community will die, the HS community will die, and a new type of squadron (HSLA, HSA or HSAL, the A indicating Attack,) will be established. Essentially what this means is that when the 60R is finally brought into service no one really knows what is going to happen politically at the time of this writing.
Powered by two General Electric T700-C Turboshaft Engines coupled via gearbox to a dynamic rotorhead and a single tail rotor. The engines use JP-5, 592 gallons (U.S.) of which is stored in the main fuel cell. In addition two drop tanks can be attached to the either side of the aircraft to provide an additional 100 gallons (U.S.) of fuel each. The rotorhead has a 5-degree forward tilt for additional forward thrust in flight, with the tail rotor canted at a 20-degree angle off vertical to provide additional lift while in hover.
Both aircraft variants, (bravo and foxtrot,) share similar rotorhead and drive train components, with the exception being an additional hydraulic pump attached to the main gear box, (MGB,) in the foxtrot model. The pump is attached to the right and rear of the MGB and is used to power the reeling machine for the dipping sonar array on the SH-60F. The aircraft has three gearboxes: the main gearbox which the rotor head is mounted in/on, and is fed power through the input modules forward of the #1 and #2 engines. The accessory modules are then mounted forward of the input mods and used for mechanical power of the aircraft's primary generators and hydraulic pumps.
The MGB is also connected to the oil cooler, and provides power through the driveshaft system to the IGB and TGB. The intermediate gear box which provides for disconnect between number five and six driveshafts during tail pylon fold and for transition of torque from the number five and number six driveshafts. The tail gearbox in turn has the tail rotor and tail rotor servo attached to it.
Both aircraft can be split into several common sections for the purposes of description. Namely, (from front to back,): Cockpit, forward/aft cabin, transition section/fuel cell, hydraulics bay, forward/aft main rotor pylon, tail cone, and tail pylon.
The cockpits in both aircraft are the same with the exception of installed cockpit avionics. Flight controls are similar for both aircraft models, having one cyclic stick controlling the horizontal attitude of the airplane and a collective for controlling pitch of the four thirty foot long main rotor blades. In addition, a pair of pedals for controlling tail rotor pitch are located beneath the instrument panel in the cockpit. Both the ATO and pilot have duplicate controls, however instrumentation differs between positions.
Control of the aircraft primary flight surfaces are accomplished through these inputs, which are then passed to boost servos in the hydraulics bay. The inputs, dependant on direction, are then passed through the mixing assembly and then to the forward, aft or lateral servo for transmission to the swashplate. The inside of the swashplate remains static while the outside rotates. Pitch control rods are attached to the outside of the swashplate and then connected to the pitch horn at the end of the spindle assembly mounted on the main rotor hub. The spindle assembly is connected to an elastomeric bearing which allows rotation of the entire rotor blade along it's long axis. The outside of the spindle is then connected to the main rotor blade itself. Inputs to the tail rotor are fed from pedals located beneath the pilot/ATO instrument panels through a system of cables to the tail rotor servo, which is hydraulically boosted. Changes in tail rotor pitch are accomplished by movement of the tail rotor servo pitch beam actuator, connected to the pitch beam nut. (This is usually referred to as the the Jesus nut, because if it falls off in flight that's about the only person who's going to help you.)
Although the tail rotor blades appear to be four separate pieces, they are actually only two. The tail paddles are joined straight across at the center for additional material strength and reduced flex in the event of a loss of tail rotor authority. Differences in the four tail and four main rotors and their associated components are distinguished with a simple color designation system. The four colors that make up this system are: blue, yellow, black and red.
Considerable differences exist between the SH-60B and SH-60F such that a common description for both aircraft is not practical. The SH-60B carries the APS-124 search radar, capable of 6 RPM scan up to 160 miles.
In addition to that it is equipped with the ALQ-142 ESM system for the detection and classification of EM/RF emitters in the aircraft's operating area. It is capable of IFF interrogation through the APX-76 interrogator, which uses the same antenna as the APS-124 radar. Currently there is no radar system installed on the SH-60F, nor does it have a large and dedicated ESM system.
For detection and prosecution of hostile sub-surface targets the 60B can carry up to 25 sonobuoys of several varieties, (cannot be discussed in detail here, sorry folks,) and is equipped with the ASQ-81(V) Magnetic Anomaly Detecting set. The reeling machine is located just behind and on a stub pylon on the transition section of the aircraft. The SH-60F does not have the ASQ-81(V) MAD, however carries the ASQ-13 Dipping Sonar Array. (Additional differences in computers, data display and data processing also exist between the SH-60B and SH-60F.)
The SH-60B also does not have the digital instrumentation associated with the SH-60F's cockpit. The majority of the instruments are of the analog dial type. Inputs from/to the instrument system are connected to the NSIU, CMUX, AFCS/DAFCS computer and ASK-44 compass controllers. Both aircraft use similar radio and communication systems, the primary LOS system used for radio transmission being the ARC-182(V) UHF/VHF system.
Countermeasures for both aircraft are provided by the ALE-139 chaff/flare dispensing system, which through a system of programmed and manual operator inputs dispense from pods located aft of the transition section on the tail cone. (There is actually a HUGE amount of equipment in the countermeasures and aircraft survivability system that you'd probably be really interested in if it weren't classified. Which means that you're not going to hear about it. Sorry folks, don't mean to dissappoint. Bill me later.)
Another critical difference in avionics between the two airframes comes in the form of the ARQ-44 Radio Terminal Set installed on the 60B. The ARQ-44 is a data link system used in conjunction with the SRQ-4 which is installed on all active ships in the U.S. Navy with the exception of aircraft carriers. (I.e. frigates, cruisers and both the non-aviation capable Aegis DDG's and the aviation capable DD's, which are both separate classes of destroyer.) Data is passed to and from the aircraft and ship including video, navigation/position information, voice and miscellaneous data. (Yes, that was intentionally vague.)
Both the 60F and 60B that have been through Core B modification use the AAS-44 FLIR/Laser designation system.
Both aircraft can carry the following ordinance, except as noted:
Mk 48 Torpedo, REXTORP and EXTORP training shapes included.
Mk 50 ADCAP Torpedo. REXTORP and EXTORP training shapes included.
AGM-114 Hellfire AGM
CATM-114B Hellfire training shape.
AGM-119 Penguin ASM. (SH-60B only.) (Note: This is the only non-U.S. manufactured missile in the inventory. The Penguin is manufactured in Norway, acquisition came about due to a budget deal the government made.)
CATM-119B Penguin training shape. (SH-60B only)
M-60 Door mounted 7.62 mm machine gun.
GAU-16 Door mounted .50 cal. machine gun.
The east and west coast HSL squadrons are as follows, with status and location:
HSL-37: (Easy Riders) Deploying squadron, Kaneohe Bay MCBH, Hawaii. Call sign: Easy Rider
HSL-41: (Seahawks) FRP/FRAC FRS, non-deploying shore based training squadron NAS North Island, San Diego CA. Call sign: Island Ruler
HSL-43: (Battlecats) Deploying squadron, NAS North Island, San Diego CA. Call sign: Battlecat
HSL-45: (Wolfpack) Deploying squadron, NAS North Island, San Diego CA. Call sign: Lone Wolf
HSL-47: (Saberhawks) Deploying squadron, NAS North Island, San Diego CA. Call sign: Saberhawk
HSL-49: (Scorpions) Deploying squadron, NAS North Island, San Diego CA. Call sign: Red Stinger
HSL-51: (Warlords) Deploying squadron, permanently forward deployed to NAF Atsugi, Japan. Call sign: Hellfire
: (Air Wolves) FRP/FRAC FRS, non-deploying shore based training squadron NAS Mayport, Mayport FL.
: (Proud Warriors) Deploying squadron, NAS Mayport, Mayport FL.
: (Swamp Foxes) Deploying squadron, NAS Mayport, Mayport FL. Call sign: Magnum
: (Grandmasters) Deploying squadron, NAS Mayport, Mayport FL.
: (Vipers) Deploying squadron, NAS Mayport, Mayport FL.
ADCAP: Advanced capability
AFCS: Automatic flight control system
AGM: air-to-ground missile
ASM: Anti-ship missile
ATO: airborne tactical officer
CG: guided missile cruiser
CMUX: converter, multiplexer
COMHSLWINGPAC: Commander, Helantisubron Wing, Pacific
COMHSLWINGLANT: Commander, Helantisubron Wing, Atlantic
CV: carrier vehicle, conventional power
CVN: carrier vehicle, nuclear power
DAFCS: Digital automatic flight control system
DD: vanilla destroyer
DDG: guided missile destroyer
ESM: Electromagnetic sensing measures
EXTORP: Exercise, torpedo. Does not run, falls off the airplane and that's it. (Usually called 'logs.')
FLIR: Forward looking infra-red. (Common mistake to call it foward looking infra-red radar. This tends to induce severe and violent cringing in most avionics techs.)
FFG: fast frigate, guided missile
FRAC: Fleet replacement aircrew
FRP: Fleet replacement pilot
FRS: Fleet replacement school
HAC: helicopter aircraft commander
HSL: Helantisubron, Light. Helicopter Anti-Submarine Squadron, Light
HS: Helantisubron. Helicopter Anti-Submarine Squadron
IFF: Interrogation, friend or foe
LAMPS Mk III: Light Airborne Multi-Purpose System, third generation
LOS: Line of sight
MCBH: Marine Corps Base, Hawaii
MAD: Magnetic anomaly detector
NAS: Naval Air Station
NAF: Naval Air Facility
NSIU: Navigation switching interface unit
PAX: standard shortening for passenger
RETORP: Exercise, torpedo. This one actually runs.
RF: Radio frequency
SPECOPS: special operations
UHF: Ultra-high frequency
VHF: Very-high frequency