The Kaman SH-2G Super Seasprite is an American ship-based helicopter with anti-submarine, anti-surface threat capability, including over-the-horizon targeting. This aircraft extends and increases 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. It was originally developed for the United States Navy in 1980s as a reengined version of the older Kaman SH-2 Seasprite. The SH-2G’s Secondary missions may include medical evacuation, search and rescue, personnel and cargo transfer, as well as small boat interdiction, amphibious assault air support, gun fire spotting, mine detection and battle damage assessment.
The SH-2G was the last remaining helicopters used by the US Navy to fly the LAMPS I anti-submarine warfare missions. This helicopter has a low frequency dipping sonar, onboard radar, front-mounted FLIR system, aquatic data processor. The system can receive data from more than 100 sonars. Despite its versatility and multi-mission capability the SH-2G Super Seasprite was retired from the US Navy in 2004. However other nations, such as Egypt, New Zealand, Peru and Poland are actively using this helicopter. The Super Seasprite has a crew of three, including pilot and tactical operators. The pilot flies the helicopter, while the tactical operator operates weapons and sophisticated systems.
This helicopter can be fitted with various armament. It can Non-US aircraft carry a variety of weapons, such as AGM-119B Penguin anti-ship missiles, AGM-65 Maverick air-to-surface missiles (often used in the anti-ship role) and 2× Mk 46 (or Mk 50 ASW) torpedoes. The helicopter has provision for two machine guns. Various machine guns can be carried such as the M60 or M134 Gatling gun in the right hand door, operated by the helicopter loadmaster. 2x bomb shackles behind main landing gear. Usually used for external fuel tanks, can carry depth charges. 2x hardpoints on pylons each side (not always fitted), used for weapons only. he Super Seasprite can be used for mine detection. For this role, the SH-2G can carry the Kaman-developed Magic Lantern device, a laser detector that finds mines from the water’s surface to below the keel depth of most warships.
The SH-2G is powered by two T700-GE-401 turbo shaft engines, developing 1 723 shp each. In case of malfunction or damage the helicopter can fly with one engine. Rotor blades have reduced vibrations, for longer life of components and reduced fatigue for crewmembers. The fuselage of this helicopter was specially designed for maritime operations. The rotor blades are foldable to make deployment on ships easier. An interesting feature of this helicopter is that it can refuel in air by winching a fuel pump from the deck of the ship. This method can be used in adverse weather conditions. This helicopter has a modular cargo compartment, that can be reconfigured to suit different missions. It can transfer personnel and cargo.