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Japanese naval helicopter prototypes are delivered

3rd October 2021 - 23:54 GMT | by Koji Miyake in Tokyo

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In the foreground is the first prototype of the Japanese XSH-60L, and behind it is the second. (Mitsubishi Heavy Industries)

Japan's navy will adopt the Seahawk-based SH-60L helicopter as its successor to the current SH-60K fleet.

Mitsubishi Heavy Industries handed over two XSH-60L helicopters to Japan’s Acquisition, Technology and Logistics Agency (ATLA) on 28 September. Life cycle costs should be kept low because the future SH-60L will have a high commonality with the current SH-60K fleet.

The SH-60L has an increased ASW capability in response to quieter and growing shallow-water activity of Chinese and Russian submarines. The SH-60L is equipped with an NEC multistatic sonar, whereas the current SH-60K only has a monostatic one.

Multistatic sonars detect submarines not only by themselves but also by networking with other sonars. They improve the ability to detect submarines …

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