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SH-2F Seasprite 151335

A US Navy SH-2F Seasprite.

The Kaman SH-2 Seasprite is an American anti-submarine and utility helicopter. 


The SH-2 was designed in response to a 1956 US Navy competition for a new multipurpose helicopter. Kaman's design, known to the company as the K-20[1] won, and four YHU2K-1 prototypes were built. The aircraft first flew on July 2nd, 1959, and entered service in December, 1962. It was redesignated UH-2 under the new tri-service designation system in 1962.[N 1]

The first production version was the HU2K-1 (later UH-2A), 84 examples being built with the T58-GE-8 engine delivering 1,250 shp (932 kW).[1]

Seasprites saw service during the Vietnam War, retrieving downed aircrews and providing plane guard to aircraft carriers. In the 1970s, most UH-2s were converted into SH-2 ASW helicopters, making them first of the type that could operate from US Navy ships other than aircraft carriers. They were used to support a number of military operations in the late 1980s and early 1990s, including Operation Praying Mantis and Operation Desert Storm. Production of the standard SH-2 ended in 1986 with 184 built, and all were retired from US Navy service by 1993. The upgraded SH-2G variant is still in use with several countries, including New Zealand, Poland, and Egypt.

Specifications (SH-2F)[]

  • Powerplant: two General Electric T58-GE-8F turboshaft engines
  • Top speed: 165 mph
  • Range: 422 miles
  • Ceiling: 22,500 feet
  • Crew: 3
  • Empty weight: 7,040 lbs
  • Length: 52 feet 7 inches
  • Height: 15 feet 6 inches
  • Rotor diameter: 44 feet
  • Armament: two side-mounted hardpoints capable of carrying two anti-submarine torpedoes or (on non-US aircraft) missiles. 



  1. The redesignation led to the prototypes becoming YUH-2As.[1]


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 World Aircraft Information Files Aviation Partwork. Midsummer Books Ltd. File 899 Sheet 2 (A-Z of Aircraft:K - Kaman H-43 Huskie (continued) to Kamov Ka-15 'Hen' and Ka-18 'Hog')