This Is The Most Advanced Anti-Submarine Helicopter


The technology of submarines has escalated rapidly in recent decades. The advanced nuclear-powered submarines of the 21st century are fast, stealth, and deadly. To prevent the uncontrollable dominance of such vessels, armies around the world have developed special military helicopters that are built for anti-submarine warfare.

ASW helicopters have been around for many years and have seen substantial improvements lately. So, it would be super interesting to see how effective the best ASW helicopter would be against a powerful submarine.

MH-60R Seahawk: The Best Of Its Class

Seahawk Helicopters

The Sikorsky MH-60 Seahawk is a multi-mission twin-engine helicopter that was first built for the United States Navy in 1984. In all, 938 helicopters were built, and the helicopter has five different designations; the SH-60B, SH-60F, MH-60R, and MH-60S. Their capabilities vary, mainly depending on the variant. Of course, they have anti-submarine warfare capabilities, naval special warfare, combat search and rescue, and more. There are many variants, but only a few versions have been exported outside the United States, namely, the S-70B, the S-70L, and the S-70C helicopters.

In the anti-submarine warfare role, the MH-60R Seahawk variant is considered to be the most effective in the world. It started serving the US Navy in 2006 and was designed to be a combination of the SH-60B and SH-60F.

It’s equipped with sensors like the AN/AAR-47 Missile Approach Warning System, Raytheon AN/AAS-44 electro-optical system, AN/ALE-39 decoy dispenser, AN/ALQ-144 infrared jammer, and AN/ALQ-210 electronic support measures system.

Beyond that, other sensors included are the AN/APS-147 (later replaced by the AN/APS-153) multi-mode radar, AN/AQS-22 advanced airborne low-frequency sonar, AN/ARC-210 voice radio, the advanced airborne fleet data link AN/SRQ-4 Hawklink, and the LN-100G voice radio positioning system as well as the inertial navigation system. In 2020, the helicopter was also equipped with a magnetic anomaly detector.

If the mission requires attacking a hostile submarine, the Seahawk could fire Mk-53 air-launched torpedoes and Hellfire missiles. You may have noticed that there are many more systems and sensors on the helicopter than weapons. That’s logical if you think about it! Anti-submarine warfare is mainly detecting hostile submarines as that’s the demanding part of the mission. The numerous advanced sensors and systems of the helicopter make the MH-60R highly effective.

The Most Dangerous Submarine Outside The U.S.

How Would It Perform Against An Advanced Submarine

Seahawk Helicopter

The newest and advanced anti-submarine helicopters with the right features are very effective in tracking submarines. But the systems of the MH-60R remain on another level. This helicopter carries such an impressive variety of sensors making it very powerful and extremely capable.

In a typical operation, the MH-60R would be deployed from a cruiser, destroyer, amphibious assault ship, or another suitable warship with a landing deck. Its missions could involve searching and tracking any hostile submarines near the ship (although it could hypothetically engage in anti-surface warfare too).

Although advanced submarines are very quiet and stealthy nowadays, the Seahawk would probably detect the hostile ship and would instantly launch a torpedo against it. Although the helicopter has excellent capacities to find a vessel, its anti-submarine offensive options are limited compared to a warship like a destroyer. So, if the torpedoes couldn’t destroy the submarine, the rest of the fleet would finish the job.

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