22 Juli 2010

Kaman Offers Low-Cost ASW Package

22 Juli 2010

Kaman SH-2G Seasprite ASW helicopter (photo : militaryphotos)

Kaman Helicopters is offering a low-cost anti-submarine warfare (ASW) capability through ex-US Navy SH-2G Super Seasprite helicopters.

The company is pitching the SH-2G (ASW) platform to smaller nations looking for an ASW capability but hampered by limited budgets.

Speaking at the Farnborough International Air Show, Kaman Helicopters director, marketing and business development, Mark Tattershall, said the company was in talks with potential customers in South America and Asia. The cost of the SH-2G (ASW) would be in the region of $20 million.

‘We are in the middle of an aggressive marketing campaign and are talking to nations around the world. There is a growing requirement for an ASW capability not just for the detection of submarines but the detection of submarines for drug interdiction, with drug runners using submersibles, and for anti-piracy operations,’ Tattershall said.

The company has access to 15 SH-2G and 37 SH-2F (that could be converted to G models) helicopters from ex-USN stocks.

Egypt currently operates ten SH-2G(E) helicopters in the latest ASW configuration. Deliveries of those aircraft were initially completed in 1999 and the aircraft are currently undergoing a mid-life upgrade.

Meanwhile, the company is confident of a sale of 11 ex-Australian Navy SH-2G Super Seasprites this year. The Australian Government cancelled the contract for the aircraft in 2008 following difficulties getting the aircraft into service.

Tattershall said the Australian experience had cast a cloud on the platforms international success but he was confident all issues had been resolved and the capabilities of the platform were vindicated by a 2009 Australian National Audit Office (ANAO), with many of its findings and recommendations relating to the Australian Department of Defence and its procurement and contract management agencies.

He said the aircraft’s new Automatic Flight Control System software had been validated by the US Naval Air Systems Command (NAVAIR) and was now part of the Egyptian upgrade.

‘Potential customers have some concern that the project was cancelled but we are willing to enter into discussions to address any concerns. All issues have been resolved, Kaman is very proud of the helicopter and the proof of the pudding is in people evaluating it.’

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