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The current time is: 10/17/2017 8:24:53 PM
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Riaindevoy
Geelong, Australia
top 10
E-9 Sergeant Major


Posts: 1070

Canadian Sea Kings.
Posted on: 7/15/2017 4:25:26 AM
Here's a grab from Wiki about the British Sea King and how and why it is different from the US Sea King.

Despite appearances, Westland's Sea King is a very different aircraft from Sikorsky's. Many of the differences between the Westland-built Sea King and the original helicopter were as a result of differing operational doctrine. While the U.S. Navy Sea Kings were intended to be under tactical control of the carrier from which they operated, the Royal Navy intended its helicopters to be much more autonomous, capable of operating alone, or coordinating with other aircraft or surface vessels. This resulted in a different crew arrangement, with operations being controlled by an observer rather than the pilot, as well as fitting a search radar.



But what about Canadian Sea Kings? They were built before the British to operate from Frigates rather than Aircraft Carriers, are they pretty much the same as the USN ones they are derived from? The lacked radar in their early years, so does that make them more reliant on their mother Frigate?


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Vegetarian: the ancient tribal word for the villiage idiot; who was too stupid to hunt, fish and ride!

George
Centre Hastings, ON, Canada
top 5
E-9 Cmd Sgt Major
Posts: 5285

Re: Canadian Sea Kings.
Posted on: 7/15/2017 7:37:48 AM
Those helo pads on board ship were pioneered by the RCN I believe. Everyone does it now. It stems from the CDN military view that our equipment has to serve several purposes.

So it is used for:

ASW: outfitted with torpedoes and sub surface detection buoys

search and rescue (SAR) operations

disaster relief

counter-narcotic operations

fisheries and pollution patrols

They have been deployed as transport aircraft for troops and other things in Afghanistan and I believe that there are some in Iraq right now.

So the Canadian military still relies on these aircraft which have proved to be very adaptable.

Soviet nuke subs in the '50's were faster than our surface vessels so the RCN experimented with helo platforms and they are standard on our frigates today.

The bear trap mechanism to bring the helicopters down to the platform was a risky invention but it worked.

But the Sea Kings have become a bit of an embarrassment. They have been in service since 1963 and have been modified and updated too many times to count.

They are older than any of the pilots who fly them. All of them are supposed to be retired by next year. We shall see. Apparently, the Indian navy wants them.

If the Brits can off load faulty Victoria class subs on us, then we can foist ancient Sea Kings on the Indians.

I read one report that said that the Sea Kings require multiple hours of maintenance for every hour of flight so they are becoming expensive to operate.

The Sea Kings are gradually being phased out in favour of a modern helicopter. (Cyclone I think)

CH124 Sea King is based on a US Navy SH-3 design and currently carry:


Quote:
Equipment

Forward Looking Infrared Radar (FLIR), Passive/Active Sonar, Surface Search Radar

Weapons System

Mk 46 Mod V homing torpedoes, self-defence machine gun



They have been modified a number of times by IMP Group International


Quote:
Modification Programs

As part of the effort to extend the service life and expand the role of the CH-124 Sea King, IMP Aerospace has completed several modification and improvement programs. These include:

Center Section Replacement Program
Improved troop carrying capability
Upgraded avionics
Installation of an improved self defence suite (SDS)
Machine gun mount and guard installation
Improved instrument video monitoring

Projects in support of training are also carried out, including the conversion of ASW aircraft to Waterbird configuration to allow for pilot training in ditching procedures, and the conversion of a damaged aircraft into a permanent maintenance trainer.


I suspect that the Canadian military will find reasons to use a few of these old helicopters.


Cheers,

George

George
Centre Hastings, ON, Canada
top 5
E-9 Cmd Sgt Major
Posts: 5285

Re: Canadian Sea Kings.
Posted on: 7/15/2017 7:47:27 AM
Note that Search and Rescue from land bases is part of operations for the Canadian military. This may necessitate sending a helicopter over the ocean to rescue sailors in distress.

But the Sikorsky's now play a secondary role in SAR. Cormorants and Griffons have gradually taken over that role.

The Canadian Coast Guard also maintains a fleet of helicopters for SAR. Not sure what they are though.

Riaindevoy
Geelong, Australia
top 10
E-9 Sergeant Major


Posts: 1070

Re: Canadian Sea Kings.
Posted on: 7/16/2017 4:03:29 AM
From what I can figure out the RN and RCN came at helicopters from different angles for different reasons, and this is where my interest in these subtle details comes from.

The RN replaced their Gannet AS1/4 which had been in service since 1953 with the Wessex HAS1/3, in effect replacing the primary sensor from the Gannet's radar to the Wessex's dipping sonar. The RN had to use 2 Wessex to prosecute a sub, one for the sonar and another with the weapons, this was not ideal so developed their Sea King to do both and bring back the radar as a sensor. Only after the transition from Gannet to Wessex had occurred did the RN starting thinking they could offload this 'heavy' hunter-killer ASW task from carriers to escort cruisers, initially the Blake and Tiger until the escort cruiser ideas of the 60s became realised with the Invincibles, thus freeing space on the carriers. This was only short lived as the carrier fleet was killed with decisions made in 1968, but I think the basic idea was for the ASW squadrons to go off and do their thing (operating in pairs against an SSN) as part of the wider Task Force/Group under the control of the Admiral/Commodore while the mother ship did other stuff.

The RCN angle was that their 28-29kt frigates of ~1961 weren't fast enough to catch and kill 30kt nuke subs. They needed a method to close that gap and the Sea King of the era could carry both a dipping sonar and AS weapons and bound ahead of the frigate, working closely to corner an SSN as the frigate closes in from behind with the Frigate captain telling the helicopter where to go and what to do.

I think that's the key difference, an Admiral with the Tiger/Blake/Carrier and an RCN FFH in his TF/TG would allocate one SSN contact to a pair of RN Sea Kings and another SSN contact to the RCN Frigate/Sea King pair, but the RCN Sea King wouldn't be hived off to work elsewhere.
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Vegetarian: the ancient tribal word for the villiage idiot; who was too stupid to hunt, fish and ride!

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