Tuesday, October 11, 2011

MH-60S Knighthawk

The MH-60S Knighthawk was developed to replace Navy's fleet of CH-46D Sea Knights, SH-3 Sea Kings, and HH-60H Seahawk helicopters. A hybrid prototype, consisting of an Army UH-60L airframe and Navy SH-60F engines and avionics, was produced and tested between 1997 and 1998. In 1999-2000 the Navy conducted additional testing with the prototype (designated YCH-60S) to evaluate its ability to take on an additional role as an airborne mine-countermeasures platform, which would allow the Navy to retire the MH-53E Sea Dragon as well.
The first production Knighthawk flew in January of 2000 and was delivered to the Navy (HC-2) in 2001. Originally designated the CH-60S, the Knighthawk was redesignated the MH-60S in February of 2001. The first production AMCM capable MH-60S was flown in July 2003. Full rate production of the MH-60S was initiated in 2002 with a total production run of 271 planned (of which 66 will be dedicated to the AMCM mission.) The final MH-60S aircraft is expected to be delivered in 2011, by which time it, along with the MH-60R, which is replacing the SH-60B/F series in the ASW role, will be the only two types of helicopters in service with the Navy.
The MH-60S is currently in production and in active service with the fleet.The MH-60S Knighthawk is a twin-engined medium lift utility helicopter.  It is equipped with a single 4-bladed rotor and a single 4-bladed tail rotor.  The basic crew compliment for the MH-60S is four; pilot, co-pilot, crew chief and gunner.
The empty weight of the MH-60S is 13,648 pounds, while the maximum take off weight is 23,500 pounds.  The external cargo carrying capacity (cargo hook) is 9,000 pounds and the internal cargo capacity is 4,000 pounds.  Total lift capacity is 10,000 pounds
The maximum level speed of the MH-60S is 145 knots (167 miles per hour) while the cruising speed is 139 knots (160 miles per hour.)
The maximum range of the MH-60S on internal fuel and at maximum take-off weight is 278 statute miles.
The MH-60S can be armed with two 7.62mm machine guns (one per pintle mount at the gunner?s stations) and two .50 caliber machine guns (mounted at weapon stations in the crew compartment.)  With the ESSS mounted, the MH-60S can accommodate up to 16 AGM-114 Hellfire missiles or four 2.75" rocket pods.  The 30mm AN/AWS-1 system can also be mounted on the ESSS station.  The MH-60S is also AGM 119 Penguin capable.

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