Tag Archives: MH-60

Meet the Lockheed Martin Black Hawk

As we at Airheadsfly.com reported earlier, Lockheed Martin is buying Sikorsky Aircraft. The biggest weapons manufacturer of the world – in sales – will thereby be the new daddy of the famous Black Hawk helicopter, the big CH-53 and the fast future combat helicopter of the future, the S-97 Raider – plus offshore rotary business and the Sikorsky daughter company Schweizer.

One of the leading helicopters in the oil and gas industry is the Sikorsky S-92, in use for years in for example the Norwegian offshore business (Image © Aircontactgruppen Norge)
RELATED POST: Sikorsky to disappear under oil and gas pressure
Lockheed Martin pays 9 billion dollar for the deal, to the company that was Sikorsky’s parent for 85 years: United Technologies Corporation. US Federal authorities will have to approve of the deal, safeguarding that it doesn’t collide with monopoly regulations.

If approved the transition of Sikorsky into Lockheed Martin will be done by the end of 2015 or the beginning of 2016. “The Corporation plans to align Sikorsky under the Lockheed Martin Mission Systems and Training business segment. MST and Stratford, Connecticut, based Sikorsky currently partner on a number of critical programs, including the VH-92 Presidential Helicopter, Combat Rescue Helicopter and the Naval MH-60 Helicopter,” Lockheed Martin writes in its statement.

With the acquisition of Sikorsky by Lockheed Martin the end of the company founded in 1923 is there, as Lockheed Martin will likely release the Sikorsky helicopters of the future under its own name – the way Boeing did when it acquired McDonnell Douglas and the way McDonnell Douglas did when it bought Hughes.

Re-enacting air landing operations of World War II in the Netherlands in September 2014 (Image © Dennis Spronk)
Black Hawks Re-enacting air landing operations of World War II in the Netherlands in September 2014 (Image © Dennis Spronk)
Optionally Piloted Black Hawk Demonstrator Helicopter Takes Successful First Flight on 11 March 2014 (Image © Sikorsky)
Optionally Piloted Black Hawk Demonstrator Helicopter Takes Successful First Flight on 11 March 2014 (Image © Sikorsky)
The first UH-60M for Taiwan arrives by ship on 4 December 2014 (Image © RoC Army)
The first UH-60M for Taiwan arrives by ship on 4 December 2014 (Image © RoC Army)

Sikorsky produced the world’s first single main rotor helicopter, the VS-300, and was the force behind the XR-4 that became the first helicopter to fly cross-country across the USA. The Sikorsky S-58 became the first helicopter to retrieve a US astronaut, commander Alan Shepherd, in 1961.

The most numerous Sikorsky helicopter flying around at the moment is the Black Hawk and its derivatives like the Sea Hawk. With its first flight on 17 October 1974 more than 4,000 UH-60s and likes have been produced so far – with the military of 24 nations relying on these work horses.

© 2015 Airheadsfly.com editor Marcel Burger
Featured image (top): Sweden was the first export customer for the UH-60M Black Hawk. Seen here in June 2012 during a tactical assault demonstration at F3 Linköping-Malmen Airbase (Image © Marcel Burger)

One of the new Australian MH-60Rs on flight trials off the coast of Jacksonville, Florida, on 13 May 2014. (Image © LS Eammon o'Brien / © Commonwealth of Australia)
One of the new Australian MH-60Rs on flight trials off the coast of Jacksonville, Florida, on 13 May 2014. (Image © LS Eammon o’Brien / © Commonwealth of Australia)

Money issue in USMC/USN expeditionary training

Two Navy MH-60S Seahawk helicopters with HSSCSS-25 land on Echo Field, Tinian, Commonwealth of the Northern Marianas Islands, on 24 September 2014 (Image © Cpl. David Walters / USMC)
Two Navy MH-60S Seahawk helicopters with HSSCSS-25 land on Echo Field, Tinian, Commonwealth of the Northern Marianas Islands, on 24 September 2014 (Image © Cpl. David Walters / USMC)

A tight budget is somewhat hampering US Marines and US Navy expeditionary training in practicing to defend the strategic very important Northern Marianas Island in the Pacific these days. During Exercise Forage Fury III at Guam and Tinian there, the Marines-led forces can train on preparing helicopter landing zones only. Larger airplanes – like the KC-130J Super Hercules planned to be put into action – have to stay at bay, which basically means less fun and probably a bit of a disappointment for many troops.

About 1,300 service men/women and supporting personnel of the US Armed Forces started Forage Fury III on 24 September 2014. Tinian is the satellite island right off the coast of the larger and better-known Saipan – all part of the Commonwealth of the Northern Marianas Islands and together with Guam one of the most militarized US areas in the world.

“The exercise has a heavy emphasis on tactical aviation and aviation ground support to further develop expeditionary combat capabilities in the Marianas Island Range Complex,” according to a USMC statement. The exercise main asset is the Marine Aircraft Group 12, 1st Marine Aircraft Wing, III Marine Expeditionary Force. It’s normal base is MCAS Iwakuni in Japan.

KC-130J
Part of the original plan was to build an austere landing zone for a KC-130J Super Hercules aircraft on Echo Runway at Tinian, according Capt. Kevin M. Wheeler, the actions officer for FF III and the aviation ground support detachment officer in charge with Marine Wing Support Squadron 171, MAG-12.

“Just like in real life, plans change,” said Wheeler. “The runway repairs were too much to handle within our budget. So, at this point, we had to change it over to helicopter operations.”

A KC-130J Super Hercules takes to the sky at 15 July 2014 from Marine Corps Air Station Futenma. This aircraft is flown by Marine Aerial Refueler Transport Squadron 152 (Image © Lance Cpl. Pete Sanders / USMC)
A KC-130J Super Hercules takes to the sky at 15 July 2014 from Marine Corps Air Station Futenma. This aircraft is flown by Marine Aerial Refueler Transport Squadron 152 (Image © Lance Cpl. Pete Sanders / USMC)

Helicopter Squadron
The US Navy’s Helicopter Sea Combat Squadron 25, Helicopter Sea Combat Wing Pacific, is the primary helicopter squadron using the 7,000 by 500 feet runway cleared by Marine Wing Support Squadron 171’s heavy equipment operators.

One of the main missions of MWSS-171, apart from building expeditionary runways, is to protect Marines before, during and after the building process.

Infrastructure
While at the small island of Tinian, the Marines also improve local roads and support other projects to help the community and keep the infrastructure at a good level.

Forager Fury III is scheduled till 6 October 2014.

© 2014 Airheadsfly.com editor Marcel Burger, incl. source information provided by the USMC

Joint Warrior Spring 2014 Participation

Two of the RNLAF AS532U2 Cougar Mk2s are deployed at sea on board the Hs. Ms. L801 Johan de Witt, a landing platform dock (Image © Dennis Spronk)
Two of the RNLAF AS532U2 Cougar Mk2s are deployed at sea on board the Hs. Ms. L801 Johan de Witt, a landing platform dock (Image © Dennis Spronk)

LATEST UPDATE 4 APRIL 2014 22:45 UTC | Kick off on 26 March 2014 for the very large NATO+ naval exercise Joint Warrior – Spring edition. Place of events: the North Sea and coastal areas of Scotland. More than 10,000 military personnel from Belgium, Canada, Denmark, Germany, France, the Netherlands, New-Zealand, Norway, Turkey, the United States and the United Kingdom participate. They put to sea 35 vessels, 35 helicopters and about 30 aircraft. The actual war games take place from 31 March to 10 April and marks the first deployment ever of the new Boeing P-8A Poseidon (US Navy) in Europe!

Footage of 40 Commando Royal Marines in helicopter assault, Joint Warrior 31 March 2014

RAF Lossiemouth will be the main air base of operations for the land based air assets, with RAF Leuchars as the secondary land base. The air assets confirmed to be involved in Joint Warrior Spring 2014 are these units and/or aircraft:

  • Marine (French Navy) Breguet Atlantique from SECBAT (tail nr. 18), operating out of RAF Lossiemouth
  • Royal Canadian Air Force Lockheed CP-140 Aurora, two aircraft (140115, 140113 (404 Maritime Patrol and Training Squadron, CFB Greenwood)), operating out of RAF Lossiemouth
  • Royal Navy/Fleet Air Arm Westland Wildcat maritime helicopters from 700W Naval Air Squadron, RNAS Yeovilton, UK
  • Royal Navy/Fleet Air Arm AgustaWestland Merlin Mk1 shipborne ASW helicopters from 829 Naval Air Squadron, operating from Type 23 frigates
  • Royal Navy/Fleet Air Arm AgustaWestland Merlin Mk2 maritime patrol & anti-piracy helicopters from 820 Naval Air Squadron, RNAS Culdrose, UK
  • Royal Navy/Fleet Air Arm Westland Sea King Mk4 (Commando Helicopter Force) from 845 Naval Air Squadron, operating from Helicopter Carrier HMS Illustrious
  • Royal Netherlands Air Force Eurocopter (Airbus Helicopters) AS532U2 Cougar Mk2 transport helicopters from 300 Squadron (Gilze Rijen AB), two embarked on the LPD L801 Johan de Witt
  • Royal New Zealand Air Force Lockheed P-3K Orion from 5 Squadron (NZ2403) (Whenuapai Mil), operating out of RAF Lossiemouth
  • Royal Navy/Fleet Air Arm BAe Hawk T1 advanced jet trainers from 736 Naval Air Squadron (RNAS Culdrose), at least 4 aircraft (incl. no. XX170, XX301, and XX316), operating out of RAF Lossiemouth
  • Royal Norwegian Air Force Lockheed P-3C Orion (3298 “Viking”) from 333 skvadron (Andøya AB), operating from RAF Lossiemouth
  • Royal Norwegian Air Force Lockheed Martin C-130J-30 Super Hercules (5629 “Nanna”) from 353 skvadron (Gardermoen IAP), flying in supplies to RAF Lossiemouth
  • Royal Air Force BAe Hawk T2 advanced jet trainers from 4(R) Squadron, RAF Valley
  • Royal Air Force BAe Hawk T1 advanced jet trainers from 100 Squadron, RAF Leeming
  • Royal Air Force Panavia Tornado GR4 interdicter strike aircraft from IX Squadron, RAF Marham
  • Royal Air Force Eurofighter Typhoon multi-role fighters from XI Squadron, RAF Coningsby
  • Royal Air Force Boeing E-3D Sentry AWACS from 8 Squadron, RAF Waddington
  • Royal Air Force Airbus Voyager tanker (A330 MRTT) from 10 Squadron, RAF Brize Norton
  • Royal Air Force Lockheed Martin C-130 Hercules from 47 Squadron, RAF Brize Norton
  • Royal Air Force BAe 125 CC3 (ZD703) liaison jet from RAF Northolt, flying in RAF Lossiemouth 29 March 2014
  • Royal Air Force Agusta Westland Merlin HC3 medium-lift helicopters from either 28(AC) Squadron and/or 78 Squadron, RAF Benson
  • Royal Air Force Boeing Chinook medium-lift helicopters from either 7 and/or 18 and/or 27 Squadron, RAF Odiham
  • Army Air Corps Boeing/Westland WAH-64 Apache attack helicopters
  • Army Air Corps Boeing Chinook transport helicopters, incl. from 27 Squadron, RAF Odiham
  • Army Air Corps Aérospatiale Puma transport helicopters
  • Army Air Corps Lynx Mk9A
  • US Navy Boeing P-8A Poseidon maritime patrol & surveillance aircraft, from VP-5 (436) (NAS Jacksonville), operating out of RAF Lossiemouth
  • US Navy Lockheed P-3C Orion MPA, two aircraft from VP-10 (161413, 885) (NAS Jacksonville), operating out of RAF Lossiemouth
  • US Navy Lockheed NP-3 Orion MPA test aircraft, from VX-20 (158204) (NAS Patuxent River), operating out of RAF Lossiemouth
  • US Navy Sikorsky SH-60 and MH-60 Seahawk shipborne maritime helicopters on board the cruisers USS Leyte Gulf (CG 55), USS Vella Gulf (CG 72) guided-missile destroyers USS James E. Williams (DDG 95), USS Cole (DDG 67), USS Ross (DDG 71), guided-missile frigate USS Samuel B Roberts (FFG 58), and fleet replenishment oiler USNS Kanawa (T-AO 196)
  • US Navy Lockheed C-130T-30 Hercules (no. 4598) from VR-55 (NAS Point Mugu) flying in supplies to RAF Lossiemouth

Sources: Koninklijke Marine / Royal Navy / US Navy and several aviation enthousiasts with the latest on-site confirmations.

RAF Typhoon ZJ803 during an earlier training (Image © Marcel Burger)
Britain is likely to give the Joint Warrior naval fleet simulated air threats with RAF Typhoons like this one
(Image © Marcel Burger)

The 12th USN P-8A Poseidon taking-off from Boeing Field, Seattle (Image © Boeing)
The 12th USN P-8A Poseidon taking-off from Boeing Field, Seattle (Image © Boeing)

Meet the future Australian aircraft carrier

UPDATED 28 November 2014 | Officially commissioned on 28 November 2014, it is the largest ship ever built for the Australian Defence Force (ADF) and it is sporting an interesting ski-jump. Will we see Harriers or F-35B Lightning IIs operate from the brand new HMAS Canberra?

Likely, but not flying in Royal Australian Navy (RAN) or Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) service … for the time being. The official roles of the new ADF Landing Helicopter Dock ships include “to embark, transport and deploy a military force. In case of the ADF it will be the Army, but it could equally be an allied Army or Marines Corps”.

Hello US Marines and British Royal Navy/Royal Marines F-35s! The short take-off and vertical landing fighter jets ordered by the two services would make excellent fighter coverage for any naval combat force with the HMAS Canberra or its future sister ship HMAS Adelaide as its centrepiece. Or it might host other navy’s Harrier jump jets, like the EAV-8B Matador IIs of 9a Escuadrilla Aeronaves that can deploy on the SPS L61 Juan Carlos I. The Australian Canberra-class LHDs are based on this Spanish design.

But things are looking good for a RAAF/RAN F-35 force on board the HMAS Canberra. “The Government is considering buying the “B” model of the F-35, the variant to operate from aircraft carriers”, Australian Defence Minister David Johnston more or less told the newspaper The Weekend West in the beginning of May 2014. Other sources confirmed the stealthy Lightning II has been considered for the two new LHDs from the very first day the Australian government ordered the vessels.

The first of two new Landing Helicopter Dock ships being built for the Australian Defence Force, entered Sydney Harbour for the first time on 13 March 2014 as part of her first contractor trials and testing program at sea. Canberra departed the BAE Systems dockyard at Williamstown on 3 March and conducted a series of tests to prove systems and equipment prior to the Contractor delivery of the ship to Defence. The trials tested a variety of systems in different conditions. The ship is scheduled to undertake a commercial docking in the Dry Dock in Sydney, where the size and scale of the LHD platform will be readily apparent. Canberra is scheduled to receive a hull clean in the dock and final paint before proceeding to sea and returning to Williamstown to commence the final phase of Contractor sea trials involving communications and combat systems. Both LHDs will be home-ported at Fleet Base East, Sydney (Image © ABIS Bonny Gassner / Navy Imagery Unit - East / Commonwealth of Australia)
The first of two new Landing Helicopter Dock ships being built for the Australian Defence Force, entered Sydney Harbour for the first time on 13 March 2014 as part of her first contractor trials and testing program at sea. Canberra departed the BAE Systems dockyard at Williamstown on 3 March and conducted a series of tests to prove systems and equipment prior to the Contractor delivery of the ship to Defence. The trials tested a variety of systems in different conditions. The ship is scheduled to undertake a commercial docking in the Dry Dock in Sydney, where the size and scale of the LHD platform will be readily apparent. Canberra is scheduled to receive a hull clean in the dock and final paint before proceeding to sea and returning to Williamstown to commence the final phase of Contractor sea trials involving communications and combat systems. Both LHDs will be home-ported at Fleet Base East, Sydney
(Image © ABIS Bonny Gassner / Navy Imagery Unit – East / Commonwealth of Australia)

Rotary wing fleet
The Canberra’s flight deck is 202.3 m (663 feet) long and 32 m (105 feet) wide with six landing spots, primarily designed to accommodate the ADF’s rotary wing fleet. It allows simultaneous take off and landing operations of six medium-sized helicopters like the MRH90 Taipan, S-70B-2 Black Hawk, the new MH-60R Seahawk, or four simultaneous take off and landings of the larger CH-47D/F Chinooks in Royal Australian Army service. There are two aircraft elevators – one aft of the flight deck and one forward of the island on the starboard side – that can accommodate medium sized helicopters, with the after one able to accommodate the larger Chinooks.

Computer generated cut-out of helicopters boarded on the HMAS Canberra (Image © Commonwealth of Australia)
Computer generated cut-out of helicopters boarded on the HMAS Canberra (Image © Commonwealth of Australia)

Hangar
Between the flight deck and the accommodation deck is a contiguous hangar and light vehicle deck. The hanger (aft) can accommodate up to 8 medium sized helicopters with 18 medium sized helicopters able to be accommodated if the light vehicle deck (front) is also used. Accommodation is provided for 1400 personnel, of which 400 are the ship’s own company. The LHD will be jointly crewed with personnel from Navy, Army and the Air Force.

Combat power
Untill (foreign) Harriers or F-35s are admitted during operations, the biggest aerial combat power on the Canberra and Adelaide will come from embarked ARH-Tiger armed reconnaissance helicopter, of which 22 operate with the RAA’s 1st Aviation Regiment in Darwin. Getting the two LHDs out at sea has put Australia back in a more strategic maritime role, after the last aircraft carrier of the nation – HMAS Melbourne – was decommissioned in 1982.

© 2014 AIRheads’ editor Marcel Burger with source information of the Royal Australian Navy

Royal Australian Navy MH-60R Seahawk 002 and 001 at the Lockheed Martin location in Owego, New York (Image © Lockheed Martin)
Royal Australian Navy MH-60R Seahawk 002 and 001 at the Lockheed Martin location in Owego, New York
(Image © Lockheed Martin)

Korean Naval Combat Force

Carrier Air Wing 5 on board nuclear aircraft carrier USS George Washington on October 11th, 2013. (Image © Mass Communication Specialist Seaman Chris Cavagnaro/USN)
Carrier Air Wing 5 on board nuclear aircraft carrier USS George Washington on October 11th, 2013. (Image © Mass Communication Specialist Seaman Chris Cavagnaro/USN)

The US Navy aircraft carrier CVN 73 USS George Washington currently patrols the waters west of the Korean peninsula. George Washington and its embarked air wing, Carrier Air Wing (CVW) 5, provide a combat-ready force that the US is currently using to support its operations and deterrence in Southeast Asia.

The CVW-5 aircraft are attached to the “Diamondbacks” of Strike Fight Squadron (VFA) 102 flying the F/A-18F Super Hornet; the “Royal Maces” of VFA-27, the “Eagles” of VFA-115 and the “Dambusters” VFA-195 each flying the F/A-18E Super Hornet; the “Shadowhawks” of Electronic Attack Squadron 141 flying the EA-18G Growler; VAW-115 flying the E-2C Hawkeye; the “Providers” of Fleet Logistics Support Squadron 30, Detachment 5, flying the C-2A Greyhound; the “Golden Falcons” of Helicopter Sea Combat Squadron 12 flying the MH-60S Seahawk; and the “Saberhawks” of Helicopter Maritime Strike Squadron 77 flying the MH-60R Seahawk.

Carrier Air Wing 5 is the US Navy’s “911” air wing, meaning when there is a crisis somewhere it is likely to be send in as first response. CVW-5 is comprised of nine squadrons with approximately 1,900 sailors and 67 aircraft.

Source: USN

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