The Seahawk is an integral part of the ship's weapons and sensor systems. With its unique sensor suite and integrated weapons systems the helicopter extends the combat radius of the ship by finding, localising and attacking where appropriate, surface or submarine targets either independently or in conjunction with other forces.
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A typical Seahawk mission involves up to three hours of low level operations over the sea, day or night, in all weather conditions, often recovering to a ship's deck which pitches and rolls dramatically in heavy seas, and is generally wet with spray.
The Seahawk's sensors include: search radar, magnetic anomaly detector and sonics processing for both active and passive sonobuoys. Both forward-looking infra-red and electronic support measures are also to be fitted. The Seahawk's main weapon is the Mk46 anti-submarine torpedo.
Sixteen are currently in use. They have a crew of tree, a pilot, a tactical coordinator and a sensor operator.
Their maximum speed is 270 kilometres per hour, with a range of 1,295kilometres, and a service Ceiling of 12,000 feet. Their rate of climb is 1,650 feet per minute.
They are armed with two Mk46 Torpedoes and one 7.62 machine gun.