Sikorsky Helicopter

The Sikorsky SH-3 Sea King (company designation S-61) is an American twin-engined anti-submarine warfare (ASW) helicopter .


Sikorsky SH-3 Seaking

Design and development

The Sikorsky SH-3 Sea King is a twin-engine medium-sized amphibious rotorcraft. Many of the features on board the Sea King represented a considerable advancement over preceding helicopters. In addition to being fully amphibious and capable of operating under all weather conditions, it holds the distinction of being the first operational American helicopter to be able to simultaneously hunt and destroy submarines. Its twin-turboshaft powerplant layout gave the SH-3 a higher payload and greater reliability than previous anti-submarine helicopters. In the event of a single engine failing, the Sea King could continue flying on a single engine. The powerplant used on the Sea King was the General Electric T58-GE-8B, which was initially capable of generating up to 1,250 shp each.


In normal operations, the Sea King typically would have a four-man crew on board; these being a pilot and copilot in the cockpit, and two aircrew stationed within the main cabin area. When conducting anti-submarine missions, the rear aircrew operated the aircraft's sensors and interpreted the generated data. For search-and-rescue missions, the Sea King's cabin could accommodate up to 22 survivors. In a medical layout, a maximum of nine stretchers plus two medical officers could be carried. In the troop transport role, up to 28 soldiers can be accommodated.



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The Sea King has also proved to be popular on the export market with foreign military customers, and has also been sold to civil operators as well. As of 2015, many examples of the type remain in service in nations around the world. The Sea King has been built under license by Agusta in Italy, Mitsubishi in Japan, and by Westland in the United Kingdom as the Westland Sea King. The major civil versions are the S-61L and S-61N.

Sikorsky Helicopter
Sikorsky SH-3 Seaking

In late 1961 and early 1962, a modified U.S. Navy HSS-2 Sea King was used to break the FAI 3 km, 100 km, 500 km and 1000 km helicopter speed records. This series of flights culminated on 5 February 1962 with the HSS-2 setting an absolute helicopter speed record of 210.6 mph. This record was broken by a modified French Sud-Aviation Super Frelon helicopter on 23 July 1963 with a speed of 217.7 mph.

  • History

    Role Anti-submarine warfare, search and rescue, and utility helicopter

    National origin United States

    Manufacturer Sikorsky Aircraft

    First flight 11 March 1959

    Introduction 1961

    Retired Retired by United States Navy in 2006


  • General info

    Status In service

    Primary users United States Navy (historical)

    Italian Navy

    Brazilian Navy

    Argentine Naval Aviation

    Produced 1959–1970s


  • Performance

    Variants Sikorsky S-61L/N

    Sikorsky S-61R

    Sikorsky CH-124 Sea King

    Westland Sea King

    Marrine One Sikorsky V-3H Seaking


Sikorsky SH-3 Sea King


The Sikorsky SH-3 Sea King (company designation S-61) is an American twin-engined anti-submarine warfare (ASW) helicopter designed and built by Sikorsky Aircraft


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