Air Platforms

Singapore takes delivery of final batch of S-70B Seahawks

12 February 2018
The Republic of Singapore Air Force’s latest S-70B Seahawk with tail number 253, seen with an inert A244/S Whitehead torpedo – is one of a pair that was ordered in March 2013 and arrived home around January 2018. Source: IHS Markit/Kelvin Wong

The Republic of Singapore Air Force (RSAF) has received all of the Sikorsky S-70B Seahawk naval helicopters on order, the Ministry of Defence (MINDEF) has confirmed in a statement issued to Jane’s on 10 February.

The acknowledgement comes after the service showcased one of its two newest Seahawk helicopters – which are understood to have been delivered by Sikorsky in January 2018 – at the Singapore Airshow 2018 exhibition, which was held from 6 to 11 February. The Seahawk put on display carries the serial 253, although its US Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) registration, N1025J, is still visible through the paint on its rear fuselage.

Two additional helicopters were quietly ordered in 2013 to supplement the six platforms originally announced in 2005, with MINDEF telling Jane’s in March 2014 that the RSAF will have a total of eight Seahawks in its inventory after these have been delivered.

“The Republic of Singapore Air Force has taken delivery of all the Sikorsky S70B [sic] naval helicopters,” MINDEF said in its statement. “The S70Bs [sic] are equipped with state-of-the-art avionics, sensors, and sense-making systems that enhance our anti-surface and anti-submarine warfighting capabilities.”

The RSAF’s S-70B is operated by a four-person crew – comprising two RSAF pilots plus a sensor operator (SENSO) and a tactical co-ordination officer (TACCO) from the Republic of Singapore Navy (RSN). The SENSO operates the L-3 Communications Ocean Systems long-range active sonar (HELRAS) while the TACCO monitors the Telephonics AN/APS-143(V) maritime surveillance and tracking radar.

The type is armed with the Whitehead Alenia Sistemi Subacquei (now Leonardo) A244/S lightweight torpedo for anti-submarine warfare (ASW) operations, and supports anti-surface warfare (ASuW) operations with its nose-mounted Raytheon AN/AAS-44 electro-optical and infrared (EO/IR) and laser designation system.

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