The Kaman SH-2G Super Seasprite is a modernized and upgraded version of the previous SH-2 Seasprite. The first prototype flew in 1985. It was a conversion form the previous SH-2F anti-submarine helicopter with uprated engines. The type entered service in 1991. As its predecessor the Super Seasprite has the same missions. It is a ship-based long-range anti-submarine helicopter. Secondary missions are search & rescue, anti-shipping, liaison and utility operations. It is also used for surveillance and over-the-horizon targeting. The Super Seasprite can operate from coast guard cutters, offshore patrol vessels, such as corvettes, frigates, and other larger ships with a landing deck.
Despite its versatility and multi-mission capability the SH-2G Super Seasprite was retired from the US Navy in 2004. However other nations, such as Egypt, New Zealand, Peru and Poland are actively using this helicopter.
The Super Seasprite has a crew of three, including pilot and tactical operators. The pilot flies the helicopter, while the tactical operator operates weapons and sophisticated systems.
This helicopter has a modular cargo compartment, that can be reconfigured to suit different missions. It can transfer personnel and cargo. With sonobuoy system removed the SH-2G can carry up to 4 passengers, 2 stretchers, or up to 1 814 kg of cargo can be carried as a slung load.
The Super Seasprite can be used for mine detection. For this role, the SH-2G can carry the Kaman-developed Magic Lantern device, a laser detector that finds mines from the water’s surface to below the keel depth of most warships. For the search & rescue operations the Super Seasprite has a foldable 270 kg capacity rescue hoist and 1 810 kg capacity external cargo hook.
The SH-2G was the last remaining helicopters used by the US Navy to fly the LAMPS I anti-submarine warfare missions. This helicopter has a low frequency dipping sonar, onboard radar, front-mounted FLIR system, aquatic data processor. The system can receive data from more than 100 sonars.
Currently active-duty fleet of SH-60 helicopters now carries the improved LAMPS III system. At some point the US Navy has re-roled the two Naval Reserve SH-2G squadrons to carry out new missions. If required the SH-2G can be used for medical evacuation, support amphibious assault, or perform battle damage assessment.