The SH-3H helicopter
was manufactured by Sikorsky Aircraft Corporation and designed to detect,
identify, track and destroy enemy submarines. As an antisubmarine platform
the H-3 is equipped with a dipping sonar and armed with Mark 46 torpedoes.
The SH-3D Sea King was a standard antisubmarine helicopter of the US Navy.
The Sea King is also capable of providing logistics support to the fleet
and performing search and rescue operations. One hundred and five SH-3As
were converted to utility duties by removing antisubmarine warfare
equipment and adding a minigun for protection in combat search and rescue
missions. The first version of this workhorse anti-submarine warfare
helicopter was flown in 1959. The H-3's
versatility was emphasized during Operation Desert Shield/Desert Storm
when 36 SH-3Hs flying from carriers logged more than 5,000 hours
conducting combat SAR, special operations, maritime interdiction
operations, logistics support, and mine-hunting.
Sikorsky S-61A and S-61B
The first version of the S-61 ordered into production
was the SH-3A (originally HSS-2) Sea King amphibious anti-submarine
helicopter. The original US Navy contract for this aircraft was received
on 23 September 1957; the prototype flew for the first time on 11 March
1959 and deliveries to the fleet began in September 1961. The S-61 series
now includes a number of military and commercial variants, which are
SH-3A: Initial amphibious ASW version. Powered by two General
Electric T58-GE-8B 932-kW (1,250 shp) turboshaft engines.
SH-3D: Developed amphibious version for the US Navy with
two General Electric T58-GE-10 turboshaft engines. First delivered in
SH-3G: US Navy conversion of 105 SH-3As into utility
helicopters. Conversion consisted of removing ASW equipment. Six were
equipped with Minigun pods for SAR missions.
SH-3H: Multipurpose version of SH-3A and SH-3G with two
General Electric T58-GE-10 turboshaft engines. US Navy later awarded
contract to convert these aircraft for ASW and anti-missile operations.
UH-3A: Utility helicopter with two General Electric T58-
GE-8B turboshaft engines.
UH-3H: Utility version of the SH-3H.
VH-3A: Passenger transport version of the SH-3A.
VH-3D: Passenger transport version of the SH-3D.
S-61A: Export version based on SH-3A also known as Nuri.
S-61D: Export version of SH-3D.
S-61L: Non amphibious configuration with modified landing
gear, rotor head and stabilizer. Accommodates up to 30 passengers. First
flight of prototype S-61L took place on 6 December 1960. Received FAA Type
Approval on 2 November 1961. Mark II versions also built. Description
does not apply to this version specifically.
S-61N: Similar to S-61L but with sealed hull and
stabilizing floats (as on SH-3) for amphibious operation. Accommodates 26
to 28 passengers. First flight of the first S-61N was made on 7 August
1962. Mark II versions also built. Description does not apply to this
(USA) Although based on
the SH-3A, this amphibious transport helicopter intoduced many important
design changes. They included provision for a hydraulically operated rear
ramp for straight-in loading of wheeled vehicles; a 907 kg (2,000 lb)
capacity winch for internal cargo handling; retractable tricycle-type
landing gear; pressurized rotor blades for quick and easy inspection;
gas-turbine auxiliary power supply for independent field operations;
self-lubricating main and tail rotors; and the buit-in equipament for
removal and replacement of all major components in remote areas. The first
S-61R flew on 17 June 1963, followed by the first CH-3C a few weeks later.
Deliveries have been made to USAF Aerospace Defense Command, Air Training
Command, Tactical Air Command, Strategic Air Command and Aerospace Rescue
and Recovery Service. Production by Sikorsky has ended, but S-61R variants
continue to available from Augusta of Italy. There have been four
Sikorsky-built versions, as listed below:
CH-3C Two 969.5 kW
(1,300 shp) T58-GE-1 turboshaft engines. After a total of 41 had been
built for the USAF, production was switched to the CH-3E. All aircraft
delivered as CH-3Cs were modified to CH-3E standard.
applicable since 1966, following introduction of uprated engines (1,118
kW; 1,500 shp T58-GE-5s). A total of 42 was built as new aircraft to this
HH-3E For USAF
Aerospace Recue and Recovery Service. Additional equipment comprises
armour, self-sealing fuel tanks, retractable flight-refuelling probe,
defensive armament and rescue hoist. Two 1,118 kW (1,500 shp) T58-GE-5
turboshafts. A total of 50 HH-5Es was converted from CH-3Es and are
known as Jolly Green Giants.
HH-3F Similar to HH-3E
for US Coast Guard, which has given them name Pelican. It has advanced
electronic equipment for search and rescue duties. No armour plate,
armament or self-sealing tanks. Deliveries began in 1968 and a total of 40
License-built version by Agusta of Italy.
See separate entry in Italy section.
ASH-3D: License-built version by Agusta of Italy. See
separate entry in Italy section.
ASH-3H: License-built version by Agusta of Italy. See
separate entry in Italy section.
ASH-3TS: License-built version by Agusta of Italy. See
separate entry in Italy section.
HSS-2A: License-built version of SH-3D by Mitsubishi of
HSS-2B: License-built version of SH-3H by Mitsubishi of
Westland Sea King/Commando:
License-built version by
Westland Helicopters (now GKN Westland Helicopters). See separate entry in
United Kingdom section.
Sikorsky VH-3D (S-61)
and Sikorsky CH-53E Sikorsky VH-3D
(S-61) and Sikorsky CH-53E (the big one) at Wall Street Downtown
Heliport. New York. Emergency trucks from airports are loaned out
whenever President comes to town. In this case a special fuel truck
was procured as well.
Acro Aerospace: Canadian Forces Air Command CH-124 Sea King
re-engine programme. See separate entry in Canada section under Acro
Aero Services: Sikorsky S-61 interior upgrade. See separate
entry in South Africa section.
Aerosud: Sikorsky S-61 long-range tank and engine dust
filter upgrades. See separate entry in South Africa section.
Airod: Sikorsky S-61A Nuri Upgrade. See separate entry in
Canada: In addition to the engine upgrade being carried out
by Acro Aerospace (which see) the Canadian Armed Forces have acquired
surplus ASN-123 TACNAV systems for US$8.6 million. These systems will be
retrofitted into the 22 CH-124A helicopters. These aircraft are also being
upgraded with Forward Looking Infra-Red (FLIR) capability.
CASA: SH-3D AEW Installed THORN EMI Searchwater AEW radars
in Spanish Navy SH-3D helicopters. Work started in 1986. Entered service
in August 1987.
Helipro: S-61 Shortsky. See separate entry in USA section.
Pall Aerospace: Engine Air Particle Separator (EAPS). See
separate entry in United Kingdom section.
Sikorsky: Awarded contract to manufacture, deliver and
install crash survivable flight incident recorder retrofit kits into the
US Navy VH-3D and VH-60N helicopters. Contract is expected to be completed
by August 1999.
Versions of the Sikorsky S-61 are in service with the armed forces of the
following countries: Argentina (1); Australia (7); Belgium (5); Brazil
(13); Canada (30); Denmark (8); Egypt (13); Germany (20); India (26); Iran
(12); Iraq (3); Italy (56); Japan (48); Libya (1); Malaysia (32);
Namibia (1); Norway (12); Pakistan (6); Qatar (11); Saudi Arabia (2);
Spain (10); UK (145); USA (74); and Venezuela (4).
The following details apply to the SH-3D Sea King, but are generally
applicable to other versions except for accommodation and equipment:
Five-blade main rotor. Flanged cuffs on blades bolted to matching flanges
rotor head. Main rotor blades are interchangeable and are provided with an
automatic powered folding system. Five-blade tail rotor. Tail section
folds to reduce stowage requirements. Fixed stabilizer on starboard side
of tail section.
Rotor brake standard.
Boat hull of all-metal semi-monocoque construction. Single step. All-metal
fully articulated oil-lubricated main rotor. All-steel rotor head.
All-metal tail rotor. Steel drive shafts.
Amphibious. Land gear consists of two twin-wheel main units, which are
retracted rearward hydraulically into stabilizing floats, and
non-retractable tailwheel. Oleo- pneumatic shock-absorbers. Goodyear main
wheels and tubeless tires size 6.50-10 type III, pressure 4.83 bars (70
lb/sq in). Goodyear tailwheel and tire size 6.00-6. Goodyear hydraulic
disc brakes. Boat hull and pop-out flotation bags in stabilizing floats
permit emergency operation from water.
Two 1,044 kW (1,400 shp) General Electric T58-GE-10 turboshaft engines.
Three bladder-type fuel tanks in hull; forward tank 1,314 liters (347 US
gallons; 289 Imp gallons), center tank 530 liters (140 US gallons; 116 Imp
gallons), rear tank 1,336 liters (353 US gallons; 293 Imp gallons). Total
fuel capacity 3,180 liters (840 US gallons; 699 Imp gallons). Refueling
point on port side of fuselage. Oil capacity 26.5 liters (7 US gallons;
5.83 Imp gallons). Both engines drive through freewheel units and rotor
brake to main gearbox. Tail rotor shaft driven through intermediate and
tail gearbox. Accessories driven by power take-off on tail rotor shaft.
Additional freewheel units
between accessories and port engine. Main rotor/engine rpm ratio 1: 93.43.
Tail rotor/engine rpm ratio 1: 16.7.
Pilot and co-pilot on flight deck, two sonar operators in main cabin. Dual
controls. Crew door at rear of flight deck on port side. Large loading
door at rear of cabin on starboard side.
Primary and auxiliary hydraulic systems, pressure 103.5 bars (1,500 lb/sq
in), for flying controls. Utility hydraulic system, pressure 207 bars
(3,000 lb/sq in), for landing gear, winches and blade folding. Pneumatic
system, pressure 207 bars (3,000 lb/sq in), for blow-down emergency
landing gear extension. Electrical system includes one 300 A DC generator,
two 20 kVA 115 A AC
generators and 24 V 22 Ah battery. APU optional.
Avionics and Equipment
Bendix AQS-13 sonar with 180º search beam width. Hamilton Standard
auto-stabilization equipment. Automatic transition into hover. Sonar
coupler holds altitude automatically in conjunction with Teledyne APN-130
Doppler radar (Litton AN/APS-503 in CH-124) and radar
altimeter. Provision for 272 kg (600 lb) capacity rescue hoist and 3,630
kg (8,000 lb) capacity automatic touchdown-release low-response cargo
sling for external loads.
Provision for 381 kg (840 lb) of weapons, including homing torpedoes.