Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Sea Hawk, Fire Scout prove worth in deployment

Michael Fabey, Aerospace Daily & Defense Report, Jan 27

The Littoral Combat Ship (LCS) 3 Fort Worth’s MH-60R Sea Hawk helicopter and MQ-8B Fire Scout UAV are proving to be the stars during the ship’s Western Pacific deployment.
The MH-60R brings search-and-rescue capabilities as well as communication relay, and can carry a potential payload of Hellfire missiles and a crew-served 50-cal. machine gun to LCS vessels, Navy officials note.
The MH-60R is equipped with multi-mode radar that includes Inverse Synthetic Aperture Radar and a forward-looking infrared electro-optical device, which was used recently during the search for AirAsia Flight QZ8501, Navy officials say. Throughout the ship’s 13 days on station in the Java Sea, HSM 35, Det. 1 conducted more than 90 hr. of search operations using the helicopter, covering more than 2,500 sq. nm.
The unarmed MQ-8B’s primary sensor is a forward-looking infrared camera (FLIR). The MQ-8B complements the MH-60 by extending the detachment’s range and endurance capabilities.
The two aircraft belong to the "Pathfinders" of Helicopter Maritime Strike Squadron (HSM) 35, Det. 1, the Navy’s first composite expeditionary helicopter squadron, which is currently deployed aboard the Worth during her first 16-month rotational deployment to the Indo-Asia-Pacific region.
"The H-60 platform is a tried and true maritime asset with primary missions of surface warfare and anti-submarine warfare," says Lt. Cmdr.

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