DH - Defence Helicopter

New Zealand validates missile capability of Kaman SH-2G Super Seasprite

17th September 2008 - 12:09 GMT | by The Shephard News Team

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The New Zealand Navy and Air Force successfully fired two live AGM-65 Maverick, air-to-surface missiles from SH-2G(NZ) Super Seasprite helicopters, during a  Sept. 5 joint exercise involving the NZ Frigate Te Kaha and an NZ Air Force P-3 Orion. The simulated targets were floating shipping containers off Great Barrier Island.

A similarly configured SH-2G(I) Super Seasprite helicopter will be on display for the first time at the Black Sea Defense & Aerospace Exposition, September 24-26 in Bucharest, Romania. Company officials and suppliers will be in attendance to brief potential customers and the news media about the helicopter and its capabilities. The aircraft, configured for the Penguin anti-ship missile, is one of 11 multi-mission maritime helicopters now available for immediate delivery.

The SH-2G(I) Super Seasprite is a multi-mission maritime helicopter capable of carrying missiles, torpedoes and a range of other offensive and defensive munitions. New Zealand is one of three nations operating SH-2G variants.

“These successful exercises underscore the fact that Super Seasprite helicopters are operating effectively and reliably around the world,” said Mark Tattershall, director of Business Development for the Helicopters Division of Kaman Aerospace. “Kaman is proud of the aircraft and we look forward to showing it to the world in Bucharest.”

In an interview published in the New Zealand Herald, Royal New Zealand Navy Maritime Component Commander Commodore Tony Parr said this was the first live firing of the Maverick missile against land or sea targets from a Seasprite.

The New Zealand Defence Force introduced the missile to service seven years ago. The exercise involved a validation of Royal New Zealand Navy and Royal New Zealand Air Force standard operating procedures, orders, and instructions, and to verify the Seasprite as a firing platform for the Maverick missile.

“It is a very good example of sailors and airmen working together to bring to bear that capability,” Parr said. “Exercises like this allow air and ground crews to practice preparation, loading and firing procedures – as well as the handling of live forward firing ordnance on board our ships.”

Also quoted in the New Zealand Herald, Commander Mat Williams, Commanding Officer of HMNZS Te Kaha, said the firing was very successful. “The air-to-surface missile performed as expected and has proven the capability.”

Kaman Aerospace Corporation is a subsidiary of Kaman Corporation (NASDAQ-GM: KAMN) of Bloomfield, Conn. The subsidiary is a subcontractor for complex metallic and composite structures and components for commercial, military and general aviation aircraft; designs and manufactures fuzing devices for the U.S. and allied militaries; and markets and supports its SH-2G and K-MAX helicopters.

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