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Air Platforms

Brazil boosts Seahawk operations

18 March 2018
A Brazilian Navy SH-16 naval helicopter configured for the anti-submarine warfare role with a lightweight torpedo loadout. Source: Victor Barreira

The Brazilian Navy has expanded the capabilities of its six Sikorsky S-70B Seahawk multirole helicopters.

Known by its local designation of SH-16, six of these helicopters are operated by Squadron HS-1 from São Pedro Naval Air Base (BAeNSPA).

Four SH-16s were received in August 2012 and another two in August 2015 through the US Foreign Military Sales (FMS) programme for USD396 million including technical services and provisions for new equipment.

Six removable door-mounted weapon mounts armed with 7.62×51 mm FN Herstal MAG58M machine guns were inducted by the end of 2017 to increase ability of the SH-16s to counter asymmetric threats. It complements the existing Raytheon Mk46 Mod 5A torpedo and Kongsberg Penguin Mk2 Mod 7 missile that were previously purchased to provide anti-submarine (ASW) and anti-surface warfare (ASuW) roles.

The SH-16s are also equipped with the Telephonics APS-143C(V)3 radar; Raytheon AN/AAS-44 EOSS imager; L3 Ocean Systems DS-100 dipping sonar; Northrop Grumman LR-100 electronic warfare system; and BAE Systems ALE-47 countermeasure dispensers.

To improve crew training, CAE USA was awarded an FMS contract by the US Navy for a tactical flight training system comprising an operational flight trainer and weapons tactics trainer. The contract was awarded in February, CAE told Jane’s .

It will be installed at the naval air training centre (CIAAN) in April 2020 and will begin operation in July, the navy earlier told Jane’s . The training system will be supplied by CAE, which was contracted under an FMS arrangement by the US Navy.

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