The MH-60R Seahawk is one of the most effective helicopters for ASW

The MH-60R Seahawk is a multi-mission helicopter, operated by the US Navy. It is also referred as Romeo. It is a further development of the SH-60B Seahawk, which in turn is based on the US Army UH-60 Black Hawk. Development of the MH-60R began in 1993. It was designed to combine features of the SH-60B and SH-60F anti-submarine ωλɾʄλɾɛ helicopters.

First low-rate initial production helicopters were remanufactured form the SH-60Bs. However subsequent helicopters were newly built. The MH-60R was first deployed in 2009. Currently this helicopter is used by the US Navy (over 100 units) and Royal Australian Navy. Indian Navy ordered a total of 24 MH-60R helicopters. Deliveries commenced in 2022 and are planned to be completed in 2025.

Main missions of the MH-60R Seahawk are Anti-Submarine ωλɾʄλɾɛ (ASW) and Anti-Surface ωλɾʄλɾɛ (ASuW). This helicopter can detect and track submarines and surface ships and attack with torpedoes and missiles.

Secondary missions are search and rescue, combat search and rescue, vertical replenishment, medical evacuation and insertion and extraction of special forces.

This helicopter is operated by a crew of 4 in anti-submarine ωλɾʄλɾɛ role and crew of 5 in anti-surface ωλɾʄλɾɛ role. It can also accommodate additional passengers.

The Seahawk has advanced mission systems and sensors. It carries advanced airborne active sonar, multi-mode search radar and nose-mounted forward-looking infrared (FLIR) turret. Its multi-mode search radar has an automatic periscope detection and discrimination capability. Also it carries air-launched sonobuoys. However magnetic anomaly detector suite was removed. Data is transferred via advanced airborne fleet data link.

The MH-60R has improved offensive capabilities comparing with SH-60B or SH-60F. It has stub wings and can carry two Mk.46, Mk.50 or Mk.54 light air-launched torpedoes, two AGM-119B Penguin anti-ship missiles or four AGM-114 Hellfire air-to-surface missiles. A single door-mounted 7.62 mm mm or 12.7 mm machine gun can be fitted.

The MH-60R has two General Electric T700-GE-401C turboshaft engines, developing 1 900 shp each. These are the same engines of the SH-60B.

The MH-60R has a folding main rotor and a hinged tail, that can be also folded. This allows to reduce footprint aboard ships. Cockpit instrumentation and displays are similar to that of the MH-60S.

The MH-60R, as well as all other US Navy’s H-60 series helicopters, has a rescue hoist for search and rescue missions. For vertical replenishment tasks it can be fitted with a 2.7 t capacity cargo hook.

For extended range this helicopter can carry external fuel tanks. The helicopter has an integrated self-defense system.

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