The Mitsubishi H-60 series is twin-turboshaft engine helicopter based on the Sikorsky S-70 helicopter family for use by the Japan Self-Defense Forces (JSDF). The SH-60J/K are anti-submarine patrol versions for the Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force (JMSDF). The UH-60J is a search and rescue version for the Japan Air Self-Defense Force (JASDF) and JMSDF. The UH-60JA is a utility version for the Japan Ground Self-Defense Force (JGSDF).
|SH-60J/K Seahawk |
UH-60J/JA Black Hawk
|A JMSDF SH-60J Seahawk helicopter from JDS Haruna lands on board USS Russell in 2007.|
|Manufacturer||Sikorsky Aircraft |
Mitsubishi Heavy Industries
|First flight||31 August 1987|
|Primary user||Japan Self-Defense Forces|
|Developed from||Sikorsky SH-60 Seahawk |
Sikorsky UH-60 Black Hawk
Design and developmentEdit
The JMSDF chose SH-60B Seahawk as the successor of the Mitsubishi HSS-2A/B Sea King. The Japan Defense Agency acquired a S-70B-2 from Sikorsky for study in 1985. The Defense Agency was going to develop Light Airborne Multi-Purpose System (LAMPS) Mk III for Japan, but it was declined by the United States, and most avionics sets were developed in the Technical Research and Development Institute. The Defense Agency ordered two XSH-60Js from Sikorsky for $27 million. Their first flights were on 31 August and in October 1987. The Defense Agency designated the model SH-60J. They were fitted with Japanese avionics systems and tested by the JMSDF.
The SH-60J is built in Japan under license from Sikorsky. It began deliveries in August 1991 and entered service thereafter. Based on a concept of the JMSDF, HQS-103 Dipping Sonar, HPS-104 active electronically scanned array Search Radar, and HLR-108 ESM System equipment of the avionics of SH-60B be different. The engine is the GE/IHI T700-IHI-701C turboshaft, which Ishikawajima-Harima Heavy Industries produced under license. It is a hybrid of SH-60B and SH-60F, except for avionics. The crew includes a pilot, copilot and sensor operator. The copilot can concentrate on the role of Tactical Coordinator with the help of the Automatic Flight Management System and Inertial Navigation system. Over 100 SH-60Js have been produced by 2007.
The SH-60K is an upgraded version of the SH-60J. The SH-60K anti-submarine helicopter which strengthened performance and versatility for the JMSDF. Mitsubishi began development in 1997. The SH-60K has formerly known as SH-60Kai. The Director General of the Defense Agency admitted adoption in March 2005.
Mitsubishi developed new main rotor blade, Ship Landing Assist System, new avionics system, and other systems. Two prototypes SH-60Ks were built by modifying SH-60Js. These prototypes were completed and delivered by June 2002. The SH-60K's cabin was expanded in length by 30 cm (11.8 in) and in height by 15 cm (5.91 in) compared to the SH-60J. The larger cabin allows for the new avionics system. Those and the airframe changes are compensated by the exchange of the T700-IHI-401C2 engine. The first production SH-60K was delivered to JMSDF on 10 August 2005. A total of 50 SH-60Ks are being supplied under new production.
A further upgrade version of SH-60K has planned and in development. It will be equipped with multi-static sonar and a new adaptive control millimetric wave ultra-high-speed communication system(Click System) with engine transmission performance improvement.
In 1988, the Japan Air Self-Defense Force choose the UH-60L to replace its KV-107 and Sikorsky S-62 helicopters. The first aircraft was built by Sikorsky, with the company designation S-70A-12, and two more were assembled by Mitsubishi Heavy Industries. Mitsubishi is producing the remaining UH-60Js under license. The Japan Marine Self-Defense Force also chose Search and rescue, and utility helicopters to replace the S-61A in 1989.
The UH-60J is powered by T700 engines license-built by Ishikawajima-Harima Heavy Industries in Japan. It features external fuel tanks, an external rescue winch, a Japan-built radar, a FLIR turret in the nose and bubble side windows for observers. The Japan Air Self-Defense Force machines were fitted with T700-IHI-701A engines, while Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force machines were fitted with marinized T700-IHI-401C engines. Fuel tanks can be attached to pylons on stub wings. The UH-60Js began deliveries in 1991 and entered service in 1992. A total of 40 UH-60Js were in service in 2010. The JASDF ordered 40 newer UH-60Js in December 2010 to begin replacing older UH-60Js.
Mitsubishi and Sikorsky have teamed in support of the Self Defense Force's mission requirements. The UH-60J+ incorporates various upgrades for the modern SAR mission. By 2006 Defense budget of Japan, UH-60Js begin addition of Refueling probe in 2009. These UH-60Js completed training with the United States Air Force and widened their activity in SAR mission.
The Japan Ground Self-Defense Force ordered a utility variant of the UH-60L designated UH-60JA in 1995. The JGSDF began receiving the UH-60JA in 1997. It features improved avionics, including FLIR, Color weather radar, GPS receiver, a Night Vision Goggle compatible cockpit and wire cutter. The JGSDF plans to acquire 70.
The JGSDF plan was to replace its UH-1H helicopters which had become obsolete. Due to budgetary constraints it was decided to replace the rotary wing fleet with a high-low combination of UH-60JA and UH-1J (an updated UH-1H) with the UH-60JA being the high and the UH-1J the low. By 2004 the budgetary constraints have driven the JGSDF to seriously consider eliminating either the UH-60JA or the UH-1J from the fleet, and purchasing just one type of airframe for the utility mission.
- S-70B-2: Version purchased from Sikorsky for research by the Defense Agency.
- XSH-60J: Prototype for SH-60J. 2 XSH-60Js were exported by Sikorsky.
- SH-60J: Seahawk version for the Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force produced by Mitsubishi under licence.
- UH-60J: Rescue helicopter license produced by Mitsubishi for the Japan Air Self-Defense Force and the Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force.
- UH-60JA: Utility version for the Japan Ground Self-Defense Force based on the UH-60J.
- USH-60K: Among two prototypes, one was redesignated as evaluation type.
- SH-60K: Improved version of SH-60J. Trial manufacture finished in 2001, and deliveries began in August 2005.
UH-60Js Search and rescue wing.
- Air Rescue Wing Chitose Detachment
- Air Rescue Wing Matsushima Detachment
- Air Rescue Wing Ashiya Detachment
- Air Rescue Wing Akita Detachment
- Air Rescue Wing Hyakuri Detachment
- Air Rescue Wing Nyutabaru Detachment
- Air Rescue Wing Niigata Detachment
- Air Rescue Wing Hamamatsu Detachment
- Air Rescue Wing Naha Detachment
- Air Rescue Wing Komatsu Detachment
- Air Rescue Wing Komaki Detachment (Training squadron)
- Japan Ground Self-Defense Force has 27 UH-60J/JAs in use as of Nov. 2008.
- 15th Brigade
- No. 15 Helicopter Wing (Camp Naha): UH-60JAs Search and rescue squadron.
- 1st Helicopter Brigade
- No. 102 Squadron (Camp Kisarazu): UH-60JAs Subsidiary Air assault unit.
- 12th Brigade
- No. 12 Helicopter Wing 1st Squadron (Camp Kita-Utunomiya)
- Western Army Aviation Group
- Western Helicopter Wing (Camp Metabaru)
- Kasumigaura Aviation School
- Educational Support Squadron
- 15th Brigade
- Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force has 102 SH-60J/Ks and 19 UH-60Js in service as of Nov. 2008.
- No. 21 Squadron (Tateyama Air Base): Fleet Air Force (SH-60J and SH-60K).
- No. 22 Squadron (Ōmura Air Base): Fleet Air Force.
- No. 51 Squadron (Naval Air Facility Atsugi): Operational Evaluation Unit.
- No. 72 Squadron (Tateyama Air Base, Ominato Naval Base and Iwojima Air Base): UH-60Js Search and rescue squadron.
- No. 73 Squadron (Ōmura Air Base, Tokushima Air Base and Kanoya Air Base)
On 26 August 2017, a Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force SH-60J crashed in the Sea of Japan off Aomori Prefecture in northern Japan. The helicopter was conducting takeoff and landing drills and had taken off from the destroyer Setogiri. It was based at the JMSDF's Ominato base in Mutsu in Aomori. One crew member was rescued, the other three were missing. The JMSDF attributed the crash to human error. The wreckage was later discovered at a depth of around 2,600 meters. The wreck was salvaged in October and two bodies were found, that of the pilot and co-pilot. One crew member remains missing.
On October 17, 2017 UH-60J 58-4596 of the Air Rescue Wing Hamamatsu Detachment crashed into the sea off Shizuoka Prefecture while conducting night rescue drills. Some wreckage was found but the four crew members were not located. Major searches continued with SDF assets and other parts were recovered. A private salvage company started work from November 2 and located part of the fuselage. In November parts of the aircraft were recovered including the Flight Data Recorder (black box) from a location approximately 31 kilometers south of Hamamatsu Air Base. On November 29th the body of one of the crew members was discovered in the wreckage.
- Crew: 3
- Length: 19.8 m (64 ft 10 in)
- Rotor diameter: 16.4 m (54 ft 6 in)
- Height: 5.2 m (16 ft 12 in)
- Max. takeoff weight: 9,750 kg (21,495 lb)
- Powerplant: 2 × Ishikawa-Harima T700-IHI-401C turboshaft, 1,342 kW (1,800 shp) each
- Maximum speed: 264.8 km/h (143 kn, 165 mph)
- Range: 584 km (315 nmi, 363 mi)
- Service ceiling: 5,790 m (18,996 ft)
- Piasecki X-49
- Sikorsky CH-148 Cyclone
- Sikorsky HH-60 Pave Hawk
- Sikorsky MH-60 Jayhawk
- Sikorsky S-70
- Sikorsky SH-60 Seahawk
- Sikorsky UH-60 Black Hawk
Aircraft of comparable role, configuration and era
- Mitsubishi SH-60J. Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, Ltd. Retrieved: 10 December 2008
- Mitsubishi UH-60J. Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, Ltd. Retrieved: 15 March 2010.
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- Mitsubishi SH-60K, Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, Ltd. Retrieved on 10 December 2008.
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- "Wreck of salvaged MSDF chopper off Aomori yields two bodies; search for fourth sailor continues". Japan Times. October 27, 2017. Retrieved October 30, 2017.
- Takahashi, Kosuke (October 18, 2017). "Four JASDF personnel missing following UH-60J helo crash off coast of Shizuoka Prefecture". janes.com. Jane's Information Group. Retrieved October 26, 2017.
- "Helmets found in waters off Shizuoka Prefecture where ASDF chopper with four aboard apparently crashed". Japan Times. October 18, 2017. Retrieved October 26, 2017.
- 防衛大臣記者会見概要. mod.go.jp (in Japanese). October 20, 2017. Retrieved November 20, 2017.
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- 防衛大臣記者会見概要. mod.go.jp (in Japanese). November 11, 2017. Retrieved November 20, 2017.
- "航空自衛隊、11月17日から浜松救難隊UH-60Jの機体引き揚げに着手". flyteam.jp (in Japanese). November 20, 2017. Retrieved November 20, 2017.
- "浜松基地所属ヘリ（ＵＨ－６０Ｊ）のレーダー航跡消失について（第４報）" (PDF). mod.go.jp. Japan Ministry of Defense. November 26, 2017. Retrieved November 28, 2017.
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|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Mitsubishi SH-60.|
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Mitsubishi UH-60.|
- SH-60J page on Mitsubishi Heavy Industries site
- SH-60K page on Mitsubishi Heavy Industries site
- UH-60J page on Mitsubishi Heavy Industries site
- SH-60J page and UH-60J page. GlobalSecurity.org.
- Rightwing. "SH-60J patrol helicopter" (in Japanese).
- Brendan Sobie (25 November 2003). "SH-60K production begins after one-year delay". Flight International.