Brazil takes delivery of first Seahawk naval helicopters
By Victor Barreira
The Brazilian Navy's first pair of S-70B Seahawk multimission maritime helicopters arrived at Cabo Frio International Airport on 30 July on board a US Air Force C-17A Globemaster III aircraft.
The two helicopters (designated MH-16 in Brazil) will be prepared by local representatives of manufacturer Sikorsky before flying under their own power to São Pedro da Aldeia naval air station for final acceptance tests and entry to service on 23 August.
Six S-70Bs are being procured via the US Foreign Military Sales process to progressively replace the navy's SH-3A/B Sea King helicopters, which will be withdrawn from service by 2015. Deliveries of the new aircraft are expected to complete in 2014.
Operated by the 1st (Guerreiro) anti-submarine helicopter squadron, the Seahawks will be roled for anti-submarine and anti-surface warfare, surveillance, gunfire support and search-and-rescue missions.
Brazil's S-70Bs are fitted with a low-frequency dipping sonar, electronic support measures system, integrated communications suite, maritime surveillance radar, thermal imaging system, digital automatic flight control and dual flight management systems, GPS inertial navigation system, a glass cockpit compatible with night-vision goggles, and a survivability suite combining missile warning and countermeasure dispensing systems. Armament will include Kongsberg's Penguin Mk 2 Mod 7 anti-ship missile.199 of 305 words
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