Naval Air: March 8, 2003


The U.S. Navy is testing it's new anti-submarine helicopter. Based on the UH-60 Blackhawk, the MH-60R (or Romeo) uses smaller, and more powerful sensors to seek out quieter diesel-electric subs now in service with many navies. The MH-60R also uses a powerful onboard computer system to combine data from sonobuoys, airborne low frequency sonar (ALFS), radar and electronic surveillance measures (ESM) to provide a more complete picture of what's down there. The Data Fusion approach is expected to provide a much better chance of detecting hostile subs. The MH-60R testing will eventually involve practice searches for real nuclear and diesel-electric subs. The MH-60R will have FLIR (night vision based on heat differences) and some missiles. But in anti-sub operations, the MH-60R will do the looking and the older MH-60S will carry lightweight torpedoes to do the shooting. The MH-60R can also find surface ships with it's radar and FLIR. The MH-60R will begin entering service next year. 


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