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Kaman SH-2F SeaSprite
Light Airborne Multi Purpose System (LAMPS) Aircraft


America 243 SH-2F image © copyright 1996 Ray Trygstad
SH-2F Seasprite
Description:Ship-based helicopter with anti-submarine, anti-surface threat capability. Extend and increase shipboard sensor and weapon capabilities against several types of enemy threats, including submarines of all types, surface ships, and patrol craft that may be armed with anti-ship missiles.

Features: Seasprite is a ship-based anti-submarine (ASW) and anti-ship surveillance and targeting (ASST) helicopter. It extends sensor and weapon capabilities against surface and submerged vessels. The SH-2F is equipped with search radar, electronic support measures, magnetic anomaly detectors and an acoustic data link. The helicopter also carries active and passive sonobuoys.

Background: The H-2 orginally entered Naval service as the Kaman HU2K-1, a single-engine light utility helicopter primarily deployed aboard aircraft carriers in a Search-and-Rescue (SAR) role. When the aircraft numbering system was changed in 1962, the HU2K-1 was redesignated the UH-2A and the HU2K-1U was redesignated UH-2B. The airframe continued to undergo upgrades, most significantly the addition of a second engine and external stores stations, and the HH-2D was selected to be the airframe for the Light Airborne Multi Purpose System (LAMPS) when the program was stood up in 1972. LAMPS evolved in the late 60's from an urgent requirement to develop a manned helicopter that would support a non-aviation ship and serve as its tactical Anti-Submarine Warfare arm. Known as LAMPS Mk I, the advanced sensors, processors, and display capabilities aboard the helicopter enabled ships to extend their situational awareness beyond the line-of-sight limitations that hamper shipboard radars and the short distances for acoustic detection and prosecution of underwater threats associated with hull-mounted sonars. H-2s reconfigured for the LAMPS mission were redesignated SH-2Ds. The first operational SH-2D/LAMPS helicopter embarked on the USS Belknap (CG-26) in December 1971. Eventually all but two H-2s in the Navy inventory were remanufactured into SH-2Fs, and 59 SH-2Fs were built from the ground up in the 1980s. The final production procurement of the SH-2F was in Fiscal Year 1986. The SH-2F was retired from active service in in the late 1990s. Some late-production SH-2Fs were either completed as, or have been converted to, SH-2Gs.

SeaSprite Trivia:
Every SH-2F in the Navy inventory had a discrete side number; all PacFleet aircraft had two digit numbers starting with 00 ("double-nuts") at HSL-31 and going up through the 40's at HSL-37. All LantFleet aircraft had three digit numbers which I believe started with 000 at HSL-30.

The most common nickname for the SH-2F was the SeaPig.

The last HH-2D in the Navy inventory belonged to HSL-31 Detachment Bravo and is currently in the collection of the American Helicopter Museum. It is the only aircraft to have been part of a detachment entirely officered by women Naval Aviators: LCDR Cathy Osman, LT Patsy VanBloem, and LT Paula Coughlin.

Least favorite LAMPS mission: visual identification of hostile vessels (aka suicide).

SeaSprite Photo Gallery: (as far as I can tell, these are all aircraft I have flown) (Official U.S. Navy Photos)


Copyright 04 of HSL-31 on an FF-1052 class deck.


Magus 38 of HSL-35 approaching the flight deck.


HSL-35's Magus 32 over the deck of a Spruance.


The SH-2F tactical paint scheme.


One of the Greencheckers of HSL-34 over a Spruance deck.


Another HSL-34 Greenchecker just before touchdown.


The view from a left-seat final approach
to the USS Merrill (a little left of line-up!)
.

Point of Contact:
Public Affairs Office
Naval Air Systems Command (AIR 07D2)
Washington, DC 20361-0701
(703) 604-2822

General Characteristics
Primary Function: ASW (Airborne platform for LAMPS Mk I)
Contractor: Kaman
Unit Cost: $16 million
Propulsion: Two T58-GE-8F turboshaft engines
Length: 53 feet (15.9 meters)
Fuselage length: 40 feet, 6 inches (12.2 meters)
Height: 15 feet (4.5 meters)
Weight: 9,110 lbs. (4099.5 kg) empty
Maximum Takeoff Weight: 13,500 pounds (6075 kg) normal takeoff
Range: over 340 nautical miles (391 statute miles, 625.6 km.) with maximum fuel
Ceiling: 11,850 feet at 13,500 pounds (6,075 kg)
Speed: 133 knots maximum (152.9 mph, 244.72 km/hour)
Crew: Three
Armament: Two Mk 46 torpedoes
Date Deployed:
First flight: July 2, 1959
Operational: December 1962

(Based in part on information from the Navy Public Affairs Library Navy Fact File 1996)
The successor to the SH-2F Seasprite is the SH-2G Super Seasprite - Multi-Mission Naval Helicopter.
Other H-2 links:
Wikipedia: SH-2 Seasprite
Seasprite Central

H-2 Bureau Numbers: Aircraft in Naval service are identified by a Bureau Number (BUNO). This is a list of all BUNOs for the H-2; they reflect the model at the time of entry into service. Most (but not all) were later converted to SH-2Fs.
HU2K-1/HU2K-1U
147202
147203
147204
147205
147972
147973
147974
147975
147976
147977
147978
147979
147980
147981
147982
147983
149013
149014
149015
149016
149017
149018
149019
149020
149021
149022
149023
149024
149025
149026
149027
149028
149029
149030
149031
149032
149033
149034
149035
149036
149739
149740
149741
149742
149743
149744
149745
149746
149747
149748
149749
149750
149751
149752
149753
HU2K-1/HU2K-1U
149754
149755
149756
149757
149758
149759
149760
149761
149762
149763
149764
149765
149766
149767
149768
149769
149770
149771
149772
149773
149774
149775
149776
149777
149778
149779
149780
149781
149782
149783
149784
149785
149786
150139
150140
150141
150142
150143
150144
150145
150146
150147
150148
150149
150150
150151
150152
150153
150154
150155
150156
150157
150158
150159
150160
HU2K-1/HU2K-1U
150161
150162
150163
150164
150165
150166
150167
150168
150169
150170
150171
150172
150173
150174
150175
150176
150177
150178
150179
150180
150181
150182
150183
150184
150185
150186
151300
151301
151302
151303
151304
151305
151306
151307
151308
151309
151310
151311
151312
151313
151314
151315
151316
151317
151318
151319
151320
151321
151322
151323
151324
151325
151326
151327
151328
HU2K-1/HU2K-1U
151329
151330
151331
151332
151333
151334
151335

UH-2B
152189
152190
152191
152192
152193
152194
152195
152196
152197
152198
152199
152200
152201
152202
152203
152204
152205
152206

SH-2F
161641
161642
161643
161644
161645
161646
161647
161648
161649
161650
161651
161652

YSH-2G
161653

SH-2F
161654
161655
161656
161657
161658
161898
161899
161900

SH-2F
161901
161902
161903
161904
161905
161906
161907
161908
161909
161910
161911
161912
161913
161914
161915
162576
162577
162578
162579
162580
162581
162582
162583
162584
162585
162586
162587
162650
162651
162652
162653
162654
162655
163209
163210
163211
163212
163213
163214

SH-2G
163541
163542
163543
163544
163545
163546

SH-2F
163547 Cancelled
163548 Cancelled
163549 Cancelled
163550 Cancelled
163551 Cancelled
163552 Cancelled


Copyright 1999/2001 Ray Trygstad, Naperville, Illinois
Email: trygstad@trygstad.org
Last Updated Thursday, 01-Apr-2004 23:20:38 PST