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kitplane01
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Best ASW Helicopter?

Mon Jan 10, 2022 9:24 am

I'm curious which helicopter is the best at ASW. By airframe, one might argue for the AW-101 Merlin, which is a very large helicopter with over 6,300 hp rather than the 3,800 hp for the MH-60R, and offers longer. range and greater speed. But I imagine best is really defined by the sensors. They all have a radar and sonobuoys, but I've not read which has the *best* radar and the *best* sonar systems.

Anyone have an opinion on what's the best ASW helicopter out there?
 
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Dutchy
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Re: Best ASW Helicopter?

Mon Jan 10, 2022 1:26 pm

best in what sense?
 
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kitplane01
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Re: Best ASW Helicopter?

Mon Jan 10, 2022 7:20 pm

Dutchy wrote:
best in what sense?


Best able to find enemy submarines. Which probably means best sensors. "But I imagine best is really defined by the sensors. "
 
FlapOperator
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Re: Best ASW Helicopter?

Mon Jan 10, 2022 8:09 pm

Its really defined by the operators. I'd put a solid team in an antique Kamov or Seasprite ahead of the "latest and greatest."

ASW is shorthand for "Awfully Slow Warfare."

ASW is a team sport. So, the helos are really just one component of team effort to prosecute and kill. The idea is to put the sub on the horns of tactical dilemmas where it no longer has the acoustic/speed/weapons advantage.
 
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N328KF
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Re: Best ASW Helicopter?

Mon Jan 10, 2022 8:29 pm

FlapOperator wrote:
Its really defined by the operators. I'd put a solid team in an antique Kamov or Seasprite ahead of the "latest and greatest."

ASW is shorthand for "Awfully Slow Warfare."

ASW is a team sport. So, the helos are really just one component of team effort to prosecute and kill. The idea is to put the sub on the horns of tactical dilemmas where it no longer has the acoustic/speed/weapons advantage.


To productively further the discussion, let's assume equally skilled teams (or the same team) and consider technical factors, such as sensor suite, loiter time, payload, reliability, etc.
 
FlapOperator
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Re: Best ASW Helicopter?

Mon Jan 10, 2022 8:36 pm

N328KF wrote:
FlapOperator wrote:
Its really defined by the operators. I'd put a solid team in an antique Kamov or Seasprite ahead of the "latest and greatest."

ASW is shorthand for "Awfully Slow Warfare."

ASW is a team sport. So, the helos are really just one component of team effort to prosecute and kill. The idea is to put the sub on the horns of tactical dilemmas where it no longer has the acoustic/speed/weapons advantage.


To productively further the discussion, let's assume equally skilled teams (or the same team) and consider technical factors, such as sensor suite, loiter time, payload, reliability, etc.


To further the discussion, whose got the better surface, fixed wing MPA, national intelligence and submarine assets?

These kind of discussions are turtles all the down at the end of the day.

I think any Western kit is basically within a margin of error of one another. So, which one is most reliable? Cheapest to operate?
 
ThePointblank
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Re: Best ASW Helicopter?

Tue Jan 11, 2022 3:54 am

FlapOperator wrote:
N328KF wrote:
FlapOperator wrote:
Its really defined by the operators. I'd put a solid team in an antique Kamov or Seasprite ahead of the "latest and greatest."

ASW is shorthand for "Awfully Slow Warfare."

ASW is a team sport. So, the helos are really just one component of team effort to prosecute and kill. The idea is to put the sub on the horns of tactical dilemmas where it no longer has the acoustic/speed/weapons advantage.


To productively further the discussion, let's assume equally skilled teams (or the same team) and consider technical factors, such as sensor suite, loiter time, payload, reliability, etc.


To further the discussion, whose got the better surface, fixed wing MPA, national intelligence and submarine assets?

These kind of discussions are turtles all the down at the end of the day.

I think any Western kit is basically within a margin of error of one another. So, which one is most reliable? Cheapest to operate?

Furthermore, different aircraft meet different operational requirements and different philosophies.

For example, the AW101 follows the method of sub hunting that was practiced by the old Sea King; it could independently detect, track, and attack enemy submarines without any assistance from the launching ship. That alone dictated a large helicopter with lots of endurance and room for sensors, sonobuoys, dipping sonars, radar, electronics, weapons, and personnel.

Helicopters like the SH-60R or the Wildcat Lynx are much more tethered to their ships; they rely on the ship to process sensor data, or provide the data to hunt the submarine. The helicopter is just a platform to launch weapons from, and any sensors it does have is to help the helicopter fine tune it's location so it can conduct an attack.
 
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kitplane01
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Re: Best ASW Helicopter?

Tue Jan 11, 2022 6:34 am

FlapOperator wrote:

I think any Western kit is basically within a margin of error of one another. So, which one is most reliable? Cheapest to operate?


Is this really true? (I'm asking because I don't know). Also, hasn't the relevant technology advanced? I've always assumed a year 2000 radar and sonobouy were not as good as the stuff we have now.

ThePointblank wrote:

For example, the AW101 follows the method of sub hunting that was practiced by the old Sea King; it could independently detect, track, and attack enemy submarines without any assistance from the launching ship. That alone dictated a large helicopter with lots of endurance and room for sensors, sonobuoys, dipping sonars, radar, electronics, weapons, and personnel.

Helicopters like the SH-60R or the Wildcat Lynx are much more tethered to their ships; they rely on the ship to process sensor data, or provide the data to hunt the submarine. The helicopter is just a platform to launch weapons from, and any sensors it does have is to help the helicopter fine tune it's location so it can conduct an attack.



I'm having a hard time reconciling these two comments.

In what way does an AW-101 find a submarine that a MH-60R cannot? The endurance of an AW101 shouldn't be that much better than a MH-60R. They have a range of 518 miles and 450 miles as per wikipedia (and yes, I know the difference between range and endurance, but I cannot find endurance figures.)
 
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kitplane01
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Re: Best ASW Helicopter?

Tue Jan 11, 2022 6:35 am

ThePointblank wrote:
Helicopters like the SH-60R or the Wildcat Lynx are much more tethered to their ships; they rely on the ship to process sensor data, ...


I really thought a SH-60R and a Lynx could both read and process anything coming from a connected sonobouy. Is this false?
 
ThePointblank
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Re: Best ASW Helicopter?

Tue Jan 11, 2022 9:33 am

kitplane01 wrote:
ThePointblank wrote:
Helicopters like the SH-60R or the Wildcat Lynx are much more tethered to their ships; they rely on the ship to process sensor data, ...


I really thought a SH-60R and a Lynx could both read and process anything coming from a connected sonobouy. Is this false?

The MH-60R offloads data from its sensors to the host ship for processing via the Hawk Link datalink. Advanced radar and acoustic processing is done in the ship. It is heavily dependant on the host warship, and is far less autonomous than the AW101 in terms of being to hunt submarines.

kitplane01 wrote:

ThePointblank wrote:

For example, the AW101 follows the method of sub hunting that was practiced by the old Sea King; it could independently detect, track, and attack enemy submarines without any assistance from the launching ship. That alone dictated a large helicopter with lots of endurance and room for sensors, sonobuoys, dipping sonars, radar, electronics, weapons, and personnel.

Helicopters like the SH-60R or the Wildcat Lynx are much more tethered to their ships; they rely on the ship to process sensor data, or provide the data to hunt the submarine. The helicopter is just a platform to launch weapons from, and any sensors it does have is to help the helicopter fine tune it's location so it can conduct an attack.



I'm having a hard time reconciling these two comments.

In what way does an AW-101 find a submarine that a MH-60R cannot? The endurance of an AW101 shouldn't be that much better than a MH-60R. They have a range of 518 miles and 450 miles as per wikipedia (and yes, I know the difference between range and endurance, but I cannot find endurance figures.)

Bigger helicopter means more room. More room for weapons, computers, crew, sonobuoys, etc. Notice that the AW101 and other similar large ASW helicopters usually seats about 4 crew, of which 2 are the sensor operators inside and is still very roomy. In comparison, the MH-60R has a crew of 3, and is very cramped inside. This often meant that for a MH-60R crew, the pilots were very much involved in the minutae of the tactics; something that the pilots of a larger helicopter would not be, as the larger helicopter has 2 people who are solely dedicated to operate the sensors and directing the engagement.
 
GDB
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Re: Best ASW Helicopter?

Tue Jan 11, 2022 10:15 am

ThePointblank wrote:
kitplane01 wrote:
ThePointblank wrote:
Helicopters like the SH-60R or the Wildcat Lynx are much more tethered to their ships; they rely on the ship to process sensor data, ...


I really thought a SH-60R and a Lynx could both read and process anything coming from a connected sonobouy. Is this false?

The MH-60R offloads data from its sensors to the host ship for processing via the Hawk Link datalink. Advanced radar and acoustic processing is done in the ship. It is heavily dependant on the host warship, and is far less autonomous than the AW101 in terms of being to hunt submarines.

kitplane01 wrote:

ThePointblank wrote:



For example, the AW101 follows the method of sub hunting that was practiced by the old Sea King; it could independently detect, track, and attack enemy submarines without any assistance from the launching ship. That alone dictated a large helicopter with lots of endurance and room for sensors, sonobuoys, dipping sonars, radar, electronics, weapons, and personnel.

Helicopters like the SH-60R or the Wildcat Lynx are much more tethered to their ships; they rely on the ship to process sensor data, or provide the data to hunt the submarine. The helicopter is just a platform to launch weapons from, and any sensors it does have is to help the helicopter fine tune it's location so it can conduct an attack.



I'm having a hard time reconciling these two comments.

In what way does an AW-101 find a submarine that a MH-60R cannot? The endurance of an AW101 shouldn't be that much better than a MH-60R. They have a range of 518 miles and 450 miles as per wikipedia (and yes, I know the difference between range and endurance, but I cannot find endurance figures.)

Bigger helicopter means more room. More room for weapons, computers, crew, sonobuoys, etc. Notice that the AW101 and other similar large ASW helicopters usually seats about 4 crew, of which 2 are the sensor operators inside and is still very roomy. In comparison, the MH-60R has a crew of 3, and is very cramped inside. This often meant that for a MH-60R crew, the pilots were very much involved in the minutae of the tactics; something that the pilots of a larger helicopter would not be, as the larger helicopter has 2 people who are solely dedicated to operate the sensors and directing the engagement.


Not for nothing were the RN Sea Kings, which went through several major upgrades, were called 'Flying Frigates', presumably their replacements, the Merlin, are too.
(With that recent news about a RN Frigate's VDS hitting a Russian submarine, notable on it's tasking to keep track of a sub near underwater cables, the ship had a Merlin embarked).
 
Woodreau
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Re: Best ASW Helicopter?

Tue Jan 11, 2022 12:18 pm

USW is a team endeavor.

A MH-60R is a sensor platform which is an extension of the ship. The helo can do limited USW independently but the ship provides most of the processing capability.

The USW team on the ship is doing the USW plot and uses the helo as an organic sensor in concert with the ships own bow sonar and towed array and any other assigned MPA assets like a P-3/P-8.

The helos interphone is linked to the internal comm net of the ship and so conversations between CIC and the helo is almost “informal” to the point where the helo crew almost seems like they’re just another voice in CIC

As far as range goes, the helo just comes back to the ship and refuels via HIFR without landing so it’s on station time is essentially limited to crew endurance.
 
IADFCO
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Re: Best ASW Helicopter?

Tue Jan 11, 2022 7:51 pm

I think that's the OP's question is essentially impossible to answer in a public forum, because it requires access to some of the most highly classified information there is.
 
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kitplane01
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Re: Best ASW Helicopter?

Wed Jan 12, 2022 4:14 am

IADFCO wrote:
I think that's the OP's question is essentially impossible to answer in a public forum, because it requires access to some of the most highly classified information there is.



I think there is only some truth in that, but not too much. We speculate about F-35 vs Rafale vs Gripen for Finland all the time, and that also involves classified data. We seem to find value in that.

I learned about how ASW helos ineract with their host ships (and thanks for the info).
 
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kitplane01
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Re: Best ASW Helicopter?

Wed Jan 12, 2022 4:18 am

Woodreau wrote:
USW is a team endeavor.

A MH-60R is a sensor platform which is an extension of the ship. The helo can do limited USW independently but the ship provides most of the processing capability.

The USW team on the ship is doing the USW plot and uses the helo as an organic sensor in concert with the ships own bow sonar and towed array and any other assigned MPA assets like a P-3/P-8.

The helos interphone is linked to the internal comm net of the ship and so conversations between CIC and the helo is almost “informal” to the point where the helo crew almost seems like they’re just another voice in CIC

As far as range goes, the helo just comes back to the ship and refuels via HIFR without landing so it’s on station time is essentially limited to crew endurance.


ThePointblank wrote:


The MH-60R offloads data from its sensors to the host ship for processing via the Hawk Link datalink. Advanced radar and acoustic processing is done in the ship. It is heavily dependant on the host warship, and is far less autonomous than the AW101 in terms of being to hunt submarines.


Are you sure this is true? Because the Swede's apparently think they can operate MH-60s as ASW helicopters directly from shore. How would that work?
https://corporalfrisk.com/2021/12/29/en ... -whitefox/

How integrated is it? Is the ship telling the helicopter things like where to go and when to drop sonobuoys? And how does it work on a Merlin?

I'm very interested.
 
JayinKitsap
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Re: Best ASW Helicopter?

Wed Jan 12, 2022 5:35 am

IADFCO wrote:
I think that's the OP's question is essentially impossible to answer in a public forum, because it requires access to some of the most highly classified information there is.


The USN has littered the oceans with sonobouys connected realtime to a surveillance network that basically knows by hull number all the pertinent data, like flightaware but under the water, of every submarine and ship of consequence. This is sent out to the P-8's as well as the fleet, at least to the ship level. Depending on the rotocraft some or all of this data is sent to the helo, any sensors on the helo are sure to be contacted back into the network.

Classified to the level that the names of the Contractors involved are not disclosed to anyone, because that gives clues to what is being used. Probably the only USN operations that are more classified would be the spook subs like the Jimmy Carter and the now retired Parche. The Parche at one time was the most decorated ship in the USN, but most of its awards barely mentioned the year, much less what was done.

Read Blind Man's Bluff sometime, allegedly the Parche tapped a very important underwater cable near Murmansk, recording every conversation on it for many years. The sub had feet so it could sit on the bottom while a 'module' was delivered adjacent to the cable and divers managed to tap all 240 circuits within the cable without cable damage. After 2 weeks they took the initial conversations back with them, returning a couple times a year to collect the new tapes.

They also collected many USSR test warheads from the bottom of the ocean so they could understand the technology level, comm methods, and the like. The warheads were accurately located by homing in on the splash. Knowing the launch point, apex, and the splash the location on the bottom could be predicted. The recovery depth was over a mile deeper than the USSR thought possible.

http://www.navsource.org/archives/08/08683.htm
 
ThePointblank
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Re: Best ASW Helicopter?

Wed Jan 12, 2022 9:46 am

kitplane01 wrote:
Woodreau wrote:
USW is a team endeavor.

A MH-60R is a sensor platform which is an extension of the ship. The helo can do limited USW independently but the ship provides most of the processing capability.

The USW team on the ship is doing the USW plot and uses the helo as an organic sensor in concert with the ships own bow sonar and towed array and any other assigned MPA assets like a P-3/P-8.

The helos interphone is linked to the internal comm net of the ship and so conversations between CIC and the helo is almost “informal” to the point where the helo crew almost seems like they’re just another voice in CIC

As far as range goes, the helo just comes back to the ship and refuels via HIFR without landing so it’s on station time is essentially limited to crew endurance.


ThePointblank wrote:


The MH-60R offloads data from its sensors to the host ship for processing via the Hawk Link datalink. Advanced radar and acoustic processing is done in the ship. It is heavily dependant on the host warship, and is far less autonomous than the AW101 in terms of being to hunt submarines.


Are you sure this is true? Because the Swede's apparently think they can operate MH-60s as ASW helicopters directly from shore. How would that work?
https://corporalfrisk.com/2021/12/29/en ... -whitefox/

How integrated is it? Is the ship telling the helicopter things like where to go and when to drop sonobuoys? And how does it work on a Merlin?

I'm very interested.

As long as the Swedes have purchased the associated Hawk Link datalink; they can have data streamed from the helicopter back to a command centre for processing.

As for how integrated the MH-60R operates from a surface ship; they are fairly tightly connected; the main tactics and control of where the helicopter needs to be is going to be and what it is supposed to do is directed from the host warship. The reason for this is because the MH-60R is so limited in terms of its ability to find independently find and prosecute targets using its onboard sensors and computers.

In comparison, for the larger ASW helicopters such as AW101 and the old Sea King, they carry much more capable sensors & mission computers, and larger loads of sonobuoys compared to the SH-60R. Furthermore, the larger helicopters carried a crew of four, of which two are the pilots, and two are sensor operators, with one of them being the mission commander, often called TACCO's. The TACCO will direct the engagement based upon available information available to them, from the last known location of a contact, information from the host ship, or the general search pattern being run. They are capable of independent operations, but of course work best when operating in coordination with other assets, such as surface ships and ASW aircraft.

As for endurance; the MH--60R is extremely cramped in the cabin. They really shoehorned all of the mission systems into the small cabin of the Seahawk to the point where there is very little room for anything else. I would also make the argument that the crew of a MH-60R is also overworked because you don't have that fourth man in the back who can relieve the sensor operator or divvy up the workload. You can't stand up in the back of a Seahawk and you can't carry many guys at all with all the kit installed if you need the helicopter to do other stuff.

In comparison, helicopters like the AW101 and the CH-148 Cyclone are much more roomy on the inside. You can stand up and walk around in the cabin for starters, and if you need the helicopter to do other roles, there's plenty of space inside the cabin without having to rip out the cabinets to not only take your crew of 4, but also take 20+ people onboard as well. Very useful capability, as you can use the same helicopter you use for ASW work for other duties, such as SAR or transporting a Naval Boarding party.
 
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kitplane01
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Re: Best ASW Helicopter?

Wed Jan 12, 2022 5:06 pm

ThePointblank wrote:
kitplane01 wrote:
Woodreau wrote:
USW is a team endeavor.

A MH-60R is a sensor platform which is an extension of the ship. The helo can do limited USW independently but the ship provides most of the processing capability.

The USW team on the ship is doing the USW plot and uses the helo as an organic sensor in concert with the ships own bow sonar and towed array and any other assigned MPA assets like a P-3/P-8.

The helos interphone is linked to the internal comm net of the ship and so conversations between CIC and the helo is almost “informal” to the point where the helo crew almost seems like they’re just another voice in CIC

As far as range goes, the helo just comes back to the ship and refuels via HIFR without landing so it’s on station time is essentially limited to crew endurance.


ThePointblank wrote:


The MH-60R offloads data from its sensors to the host ship for processing via the Hawk Link datalink. Advanced radar and acoustic processing is done in the ship. It is heavily dependant on the host warship, and is far less autonomous than the AW101 in terms of being to hunt submarines.


Are you sure this is true? Because the Swede's apparently think they can operate MH-60s as ASW helicopters directly from shore. How would that work?
https://corporalfrisk.com/2021/12/29/en ... -whitefox/

How integrated is it? Is the ship telling the helicopter things like where to go and when to drop sonobuoys? And how does it work on a Merlin?

I'm very interested.

As long as the Swedes have purchased the associated Hawk Link datalink; they can have data streamed from the helicopter back to a command centre for processing.

As for how integrated the MH-60R operates from a surface ship; they are fairly tightly connected; the main tactics and control of where the helicopter needs to be is going to be and what it is supposed to do is directed from the host warship. The reason for this is because the MH-60R is so limited in terms of its ability to find independently find and prosecute targets using its onboard sensors and computers.

In comparison, for the larger ASW helicopters such as AW101 and the old Sea King, they carry much more capable sensors & mission computers, and larger loads of sonobuoys compared to the SH-60R. Furthermore, the larger helicopters carried a crew of four, of which two are the pilots, and two are sensor operators, with one of them being the mission commander, often called TACCO's. The TACCO will direct the engagement based upon available information available to them, from the last known location of a contact, information from the host ship, or the general search pattern being run. They are capable of independent operations, but of course work best when operating in coordination with other assets, such as surface ships and ASW aircraft.

As for endurance; the MH--60R is extremely cramped in the cabin. They really shoehorned all of the mission systems into the small cabin of the Seahawk to the point where there is very little room for anything else. I would also make the argument that the crew of a MH-60R is also overworked because you don't have that fourth man in the back who can relieve the sensor operator or divvy up the workload. You can't stand up in the back of a Seahawk and you can't carry many guys at all with all the kit installed if you need the helicopter to do other stuff.

In comparison, helicopters like the AW101 and the CH-148 Cyclone are much more roomy on the inside. You can stand up and walk around in the cabin for starters, and if you need the helicopter to do other roles, there's plenty of space inside the cabin without having to rip out the cabinets to not only take your crew of 4, but also take 20+ people onboard as well. Very useful capability, as you can use the same helicopter you use for ASW work for other duties, such as SAR or transporting a Naval Boarding party.


In what way are the sensors "much more capable" in something like an AW101? Both have periscope finding radars, dipping sonars, and buoys. I thought that buoys and dipping sonars were about the same level of tech throughout the western world, and that periscope finding radars were not likely to find subs since they wouldn't be stupid enough to raise them where they're findable.
 
GDB
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Re: Best ASW Helicopter?

Wed Jan 12, 2022 6:37 pm

ThePointblank wrote:
kitplane01 wrote:
Woodreau wrote:
USW is a team endeavor.

A MH-60R is a sensor platform which is an extension of the ship. The helo can do limited USW independently but the ship provides most of the processing capability.

The USW team on the ship is doing the USW plot and uses the helo as an organic sensor in concert with the ships own bow sonar and towed array and any other assigned MPA assets like a P-3/P-8.

The helos interphone is linked to the internal comm net of the ship and so conversations between CIC and the helo is almost “informal” to the point where the helo crew almost seems like they’re just another voice in CIC

As far as range goes, the helo just comes back to the ship and refuels via HIFR without landing so it’s on station time is essentially limited to crew endurance.


ThePointblank wrote:


The MH-60R offloads data from its sensors to the host ship for processing via the Hawk Link datalink. Advanced radar and acoustic processing is done in the ship. It is heavily dependant on the host warship, and is far less autonomous than the AW101 in terms of being to hunt submarines.


Are you sure this is true? Because the Swede's apparently think they can operate MH-60s as ASW helicopters directly from shore. How would that work?
https://corporalfrisk.com/2021/12/29/en ... -whitefox/

How integrated is it? Is the ship telling the helicopter things like where to go and when to drop sonobuoys? And how does it work on a Merlin?

I'm very interested.

As long as the Swedes have purchased the associated Hawk Link datalink; they can have data streamed from the helicopter back to a command centre for processing.

As for how integrated the MH-60R operates from a surface ship; they are fairly tightly connected; the main tactics and control of where the helicopter needs to be is going to be and what it is supposed to do is directed from the host warship. The reason for this is because the MH-60R is so limited in terms of its ability to find independently find and prosecute targets using its onboard sensors and computers.

In comparison, for the larger ASW helicopters such as AW101 and the old Sea King, they carry much more capable sensors & mission computers, and larger loads of sonobuoys compared to the SH-60R. Furthermore, the larger helicopters carried a crew of four, of which two are the pilots, and two are sensor operators, with one of them being the mission commander, often called TACCO's. The TACCO will direct the engagement based upon available information available to them, from the last known location of a contact, information from the host ship, or the general search pattern being run. They are capable of independent operations, but of course work best when operating in coordination with other assets, such as surface ships and ASW aircraft.

As for endurance; the MH--60R is extremely cramped in the cabin. They really shoehorned all of the mission systems into the small cabin of the Seahawk to the point where there is very little room for anything else. I would also make the argument that the crew of a MH-60R is also overworked because you don't have that fourth man in the back who can relieve the sensor operator or divvy up the workload. You can't stand up in the back of a Seahawk and you can't carry many guys at all with all the kit installed if you need the helicopter to do other stuff.

In comparison, helicopters like the AW101 and the CH-148 Cyclone are much more roomy on the inside. You can stand up and walk around in the cabin for starters, and if you need the helicopter to do other roles, there's plenty of space inside the cabin without having to rip out the cabinets to not only take your crew of 4, but also take 20+ people onboard as well. Very useful capability, as you can use the same helicopter you use for ASW work for other duties, such as SAR or transporting a Naval Boarding party.


The RN can remove all the cabin ASW kit from a Merlin MK.2 within half an hour to make room for other loads.
With reference to the recent story about how a RN Type 23 Variable Depth Sonar got snagged on a Russian sub, released since a TV crew were making a doc on life on board, notable that for this deployment, specifically to go after a Russian sub getting near the main seabed cables for comms/internet in the Arctic Circle, they embarked a Merlin, not a Lynx Wildcat.

(Alas, the program makers cannot help themselves with over egging, initially the VDS was out of commission, was fixed and redeployed before the incident. The V.O. intoned dramatically that the ship was now blind against the sub during this period. Well apart from the hull mounted sonar and the Merlin, which being the top tier ASW chopper it is, has a dipping sonar, as well as all the other means of detection, including sonar buoys).
 
bpatus297
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Re: Best ASW Helicopter?

Wed Jan 12, 2022 9:17 pm

JayinKitsap wrote:
IADFCO wrote:
I think that's the OP's question is essentially impossible to answer in a public forum, because it requires access to some of the most highly classified information there is.


The USN has littered the oceans with sonobouys connected realtime to a surveillance network that basically knows by hull number all the pertinent data, like flightaware but under the water, of every submarine and ship of consequence. This is sent out to the P-8's as well as the fleet, at least to the ship level. Depending on the rotocraft some or all of this data is sent to the helo, any sensors on the helo are sure to be contacted back into the network.

Classified to the level that the names of the Contractors involved are not disclosed to anyone, because that gives clues to what is being used. Probably the only USN operations that are more classified would be the spook subs like the Jimmy Carter and the now retired Parche. The Parche at one time was the most decorated ship in the USN, but most of its awards barely mentioned the year, much less what was done.

Read Blind Man's Bluff sometime, allegedly the Parche tapped a very important underwater cable near Murmansk, recording every conversation on it for many years. The sub had feet so it could sit on the bottom while a 'module' was delivered adjacent to the cable and divers managed to tap all 240 circuits within the cable without cable damage. After 2 weeks they took the initial conversations back with them, returning a couple times a year to collect the new tapes.

They also collected many USSR test warheads from the bottom of the ocean so they could understand the technology level, comm methods, and the like. The warheads were accurately located by homing in on the splash. Knowing the launch point, apex, and the splash the location on the bottom could be predicted. The recovery depth was over a mile deeper than the USSR thought possible.

http://www.navsource.org/archives/08/08683.htm


Fascinating, I have read some sub books lately, mostly dealing with the not-so-cold submarine war.
 
ThePointblank
Posts: 4020
Joined: Sat Jan 17, 2009 11:39 pm

Re: Best ASW Helicopter?

Thu Jan 13, 2022 4:06 am

kitplane01 wrote:
ThePointblank wrote:
kitplane01 wrote:



Are you sure this is true? Because the Swede's apparently think they can operate MH-60s as ASW helicopters directly from shore. How would that work?
https://corporalfrisk.com/2021/12/29/en ... -whitefox/

How integrated is it? Is the ship telling the helicopter things like where to go and when to drop sonobuoys? And how does it work on a Merlin?

I'm very interested.

As long as the Swedes have purchased the associated Hawk Link datalink; they can have data streamed from the helicopter back to a command centre for processing.

As for how integrated the MH-60R operates from a surface ship; they are fairly tightly connected; the main tactics and control of where the helicopter needs to be is going to be and what it is supposed to do is directed from the host warship. The reason for this is because the MH-60R is so limited in terms of its ability to find independently find and prosecute targets using its onboard sensors and computers.

In comparison, for the larger ASW helicopters such as AW101 and the old Sea King, they carry much more capable sensors & mission computers, and larger loads of sonobuoys compared to the SH-60R. Furthermore, the larger helicopters carried a crew of four, of which two are the pilots, and two are sensor operators, with one of them being the mission commander, often called TACCO's. The TACCO will direct the engagement based upon available information available to them, from the last known location of a contact, information from the host ship, or the general search pattern being run. They are capable of independent operations, but of course work best when operating in coordination with other assets, such as surface ships and ASW aircraft.

As for endurance; the MH--60R is extremely cramped in the cabin. They really shoehorned all of the mission systems into the small cabin of the Seahawk to the point where there is very little room for anything else. I would also make the argument that the crew of a MH-60R is also overworked because you don't have that fourth man in the back who can relieve the sensor operator or divvy up the workload. You can't stand up in the back of a Seahawk and you can't carry many guys at all with all the kit installed if you need the helicopter to do other stuff.

In comparison, helicopters like the AW101 and the CH-148 Cyclone are much more roomy on the inside. You can stand up and walk around in the cabin for starters, and if you need the helicopter to do other roles, there's plenty of space inside the cabin without having to rip out the cabinets to not only take your crew of 4, but also take 20+ people onboard as well. Very useful capability, as you can use the same helicopter you use for ASW work for other duties, such as SAR or transporting a Naval Boarding party.


In what way are the sensors "much more capable" in something like an AW101? Both have periscope finding radars, dipping sonars, and buoys. I thought that buoys and dipping sonars were about the same level of tech throughout the western world, and that periscope finding radars were not likely to find subs since they wouldn't be stupid enough to raise them where they're findable.

Bigger helicopter means more lifting capacity, which means a bigger, more heavier sonar that is more powerful, that can draw on more power, and more processing capability onboard the helicopter. While the sonar itself may be shared with other helicopter types in operation, what often matters more is the back end processing; with the larger cabin and more electrical capacity, you can fit a more capable processing unit on the helicopter.

Furthermore, with sonobuoys, with the larger helicopters, you'll see reloadable sonobuoy dispensers that can be reloaded inside the cabin while in flight, while a MH-60R is restricted by what is loaded on the external dispensers by ground or ship-based crews before take off.
 
JayinKitsap
Posts: 2885
Joined: Sat Nov 26, 2005 9:55 am

Re: Best ASW Helicopter?

Thu Jan 13, 2022 7:28 am

bpatus297 wrote:
JayinKitsap wrote:
IADFCO wrote:
I think that's the OP's question is essentially impossible to answer in a public forum, because it requires access to some of the most highly classified information there is.


The USN has littered the oceans with sonobouys connected realtime to a surveillance network that basically knows by hull number all the pertinent data, like flightaware but under the water, of every submarine and ship of consequence. This is sent out to the P-8's as well as the fleet, at least to the ship level. Depending on the rotocraft some or all of this data is sent to the helo, any sensors on the helo are sure to be contacted back into the network.

Classified to the level that the names of the Contractors involved are not disclosed to anyone, because that gives clues to what is being used. Probably the only USN operations that are more classified would be the spook subs like the Jimmy Carter and the now retired Parche. The Parche at one time was the most decorated ship in the USN, but most of its awards barely mentioned the year, much less what was done.

Read Blind Man's Bluff sometime, allegedly the Parche tapped a very important underwater cable near Murmansk, recording every conversation on it for many years. The sub had feet so it could sit on the bottom while a 'module' was delivered adjacent to the cable and divers managed to tap all 240 circuits within the cable without cable damage. After 2 weeks they took the initial conversations back with them, returning a couple times a year to collect the new tapes.

They also collected many USSR test warheads from the bottom of the ocean so they could understand the technology level, comm methods, and the like. The warheads were accurately located by homing in on the splash. Knowing the launch point, apex, and the splash the location on the bottom could be predicted. The recovery depth was over a mile deeper than the USSR thought possible.

http://www.navsource.org/archives/08/08683.htm


Fascinating, I have read some sub books lately, mostly dealing with the not-so-cold submarine war.


I use in my handle, Kitsap for Kitsap County - home to one of 4 USN shipyards, with a drydock capable of any carrier, two carriers homeported here, and around a dozen subs stationed at Bangor - 3 seawolf class, and a host of SSBN's, & 2 SSGN's. PSNS always has 6 dry docks and piers full of overhauls and recycling subs. The author of Blind Man's Bluff was here long ago for a book signing, my customer thought I should read it as it talked about things he couldn't.
https://www.cnic.navy.mil/regions/cnrnw ... itsap.html

There was a huge inactive fleet here, when I arrived there was the Missouri battleship and 4 inactive carriers here. Far fewer now, but still a lot of gray hulls. Two carriers were shipped off for scrapping https://www.kitsapsun.com/story/news/20 ... 220464002/

It's the only US shipyard that recycles nuclear submarines (and cruisers in the past), I think it is at 137 recycled so far, PSNS needs to ship to Hanford at least one compartment per year to keep various agreements intact. The section with the reactor is isolated out, cleared out of all hazmat like asbestos and PCB's, sealed up, and barged to Hanford to be buried in a deep ditch. There are dozens of decommisioned subs floating in PSNS, they can be seen to the right of the picture with the drydock. An article about a 2020 shipment

https://www.kitsapsun.com/story/news/20 ... 220464002/

Every couple months I see one of these big serpents swim around Dabob Bay, every sub before going out on patrol passes thru the acoustics range there to ensure it is VERY quiet. The detection equipment can tell between a male and female dolphin at 20 miles, so yes quiet. The running joke is that the spot without sound is where the sub is.
 
mats01776
Posts: 171
Joined: Sun Apr 22, 2012 6:10 pm

Re: Best ASW Helicopter?

Thu Jan 13, 2022 5:31 pm

As a lay person, It never ceases to amaze me that a helicopter with its noise and mechanical vibrations can be an effective platform for sensitive accoustic and magnetic sensors.
 
tommy1808
Posts: 14893
Joined: Thu Nov 21, 2013 3:24 pm

Re: Best ASW Helicopter?

Mon Feb 07, 2022 8:30 am

JayinKitsap wrote:
Read Blind Man's Bluff sometime


thanks for that, i enjoyed that read very much.

best regards
Thomas

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