Preparing Next-Gen Maritime Strike Helicopter

Preparing Next-Gen Maritime Strike Helicopter

A U.S. Navy MH-60S Seahawk helicopter from Helicopter Sea Combat Support Squadron 25 conduct flight maneuvers as the Military Sealift Command Mars Class Combat Stores Ship USNS CONCORD (T-AFS 5) sails in the background in the Pacific Ocean on June 8, 2006. The Seahawk antisubmarine helicopter is a twin-engine helicopter used for anti-submarine warfare, search and rescue, drug interdiction, anti-ship warfare, cargo lift and special operations. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist Seaman Joshua Wayne LeGrand) (Released)

This post is also available in: heעברית (Hebrew)

The US Navy is looking for the next-generation maritime strike helicopter, as a successor to the Navy’s MH-60 Seahawk and MQ-8 Fire Scout. 

The Navy’s RFI calls on industry to provide information about helicopter solutions that could meet maritime strike needs ranging from anti-submarine warfare to special operations support.

While the Seahawk and Fire Scout will only hit retirement age in the 2030s, there is a need to fill “capability gaps due to the increasingly sophisticated adversary,” according to the document. “Identification of solution options for these gaps for a family of manned and unmanned systems is of paramount importance,” the document states.

The Seahawk, which is based on the Army’s UH-60 Black Hawk, was introduced into the fleet in 1984 and has the ability to deploy aboard virtually any ship in the Navy’s fleet. Its mission set includes anti-submarine and anti-surface warfare, special operations insertion, medical evacuation, replenishment and personnel movement, and search-and-rescue.

The Fire Scout is an unmanned helicopter with a more limited mission set, including reconnaissance and aerial fire support. It entered service in 2009 and has deployed aboard littoral combat ships, among other platforms, according to

The document stressed that the current Seahawk and Fire Scout platforms are the pillars of the Naval Helicopter Concept of Operations for the 21st century. “The Warfighting Capability provided, whether deployed as Carrier Air Wing squadrons embarked on aircraft carriers under the leadership of carrier air wing commanders or as Expeditionary squadrons…”

The future maritime strike helicopter must be able to accomplish a wide range of missions, including Intelligence, Surveillance, Reconnaissance and Targeting, Surface Warfare, Anti-Submarine Warfare, Mine Countermeasures, Air Warfare, Electronic Warfare, Search and Rescue, and more.