Naval Air: H-3 Retires After 45 Years


February 7, 2006: After 45 years of service, the U.S. Navy has retired it's H-3 Sea King helicopters. The nine ton aircraft was a late 1950s design, and contemporary of the U.S. Army's UH-1 "Huey." Both have been replaced by a navy version of the Hueys successor, the UH-60 Blackhawk. The Sea King was also known as the S-61, and served as an executive transport as well. For many years, it was the helicopter transport for the U.S. president. Over a dozen other navies bought the Sea King, and many still use it.

The H-3 had a range of about a thousand kilometers, and a top speed of 210 kilometers an hour It was the first helicopter to go that fast). The H-3 was used for anti-submarine warfare and search & rescue, as well as transporting stuff from ship to ship, and ship to shore. Some 1,100 H-3s were built (about ten percent were the civilian S-61 version), and over a hundred are still in use. Such long service lives are increasingly common. None of the first H-3s produced were in service for over 40 years, but many survived for over three decades.


Article Archive

Naval Air: Current 2022 2021 2020 2019 2018 2017 2016 2015 2014 2013 2012 2011 2010 2009 2008 2007 2006 2005 2004 2003 2002 2001 2000 1999 



Help Keep Us Soaring

We need your help! Our subscription base has slowly been dwindling. We need your help in reversing that trend. We would like to add 20 new subscribers this month.

Each month we count on your subscriptions or contributions. You can support us in the following ways:

  1. Make sure you spread the word about us. Two ways to do that are to like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.
  2. Subscribe to our daily newsletter. We’ll send the news to your email box, and you don’t have to come to the site unless you want to read columns or see photos.
  3. You can contribute to the health of StrategyPage. A contribution is not a donation that you can deduct at tax time, but a form of crowdfunding. We store none of your information when you contribute..
Subscribe   Contribute   Close