Dragon 1/144 MH-60S Knighthawk

KIT #: 4616
PRICE: $15.00 SRP
DECALS: Two options
REVIEWER: Scott Van Aken
NOTES: Includes two complete kits


The Sikorsky SH-60/MH-60 Seahawk is a twin turboshaft engine, multi-mission United States Navy helicopter based on the airframe of the United States Army UH-60 Black Hawk and a member of the Sikorsky S-70 family. The most significant modification is a hinged tail to reduce its footprint aboard ships.

The U.S. Navy uses the H-60 airframe under the model designations SH-60B, SH-60F, HH-60H, MH-60R, and MH-60S. Able to deploy aboard any air-capable frigate, destroyer, cruiser, fast combat support ship, amphibious assault ship, or aircraft carrier, the Seahawk can handle antisubmarine warfare (ASW), undersea warfare (USW), anti-surface warfare (ASUW), naval special warfare (NSW) insertion, search and rescue (SAR), combat search and rescue (CSAR), vertical replenishment (VERTREP), and medical evacuation (MEDEVAC). All Navy H-60s carry either the Lucas Western or Breeze Eastern rescue hoist for SAR/CSAR missions.

MH-60S "Knighthawk" is the subject of this kit and possibly so named as it started replacing the venerable CH-46 Sea Knight helicopter in 1997. After sea demonstrations by a converted UH-60, the Navy awarded production contract for the CH-60S in 1998. The variant first flew in 27 January 2000 and it began flight testing later that year. The CH-60S was redesignated MH-60S in February 2001 to reflect its planned multi-mission use.

The MH-60S is based on the UH-60L and has many naval SH-60 features. It is deployed aboard amphibious assault ships and fast combat supply ships. It has two missions: troop transport and vertical replenishment (VERTREP), but can also perform search and rescue (SAR). The MH-60S has no offensive sensors but can carry the ALQ-144 Infrared Jammer. The MH-60S will, in the near future, deploy with the AQS-20A Mine Detection System and an Airborne Laser Mine Detection System (ALMDS) for identifying submerged objects in coastal waters. The S-model is the first US Navy helicopter to field the glass cockpit where-by the flight data information is relayed to pilots using four digital screens rather than electromechanical gauges and dials. The primary means of defense is with the M60D, M240 or GAU-17/A guns. A "batwing" refit (Armed Helo Kit) based on the Army's UH-60L was developed to accommodate Hellfire, Hydra 70 2.75" rockets, or a larger guns or cannon.

The MH-60S is unofficially known as the "Knighthawk", reflecting its role as the designated successor of the Sea Knight, though this name was formally disapproved in favor of the "Seahawk" name. A standard crew for the "Knighthawk" is one pilot, one copilot and two others depending on mission. With the retirement of the Sea Knight, the squadron designation of Helicopter Combat Support Squadron (HC) was also retired from the Navy. Operating MH-60S squadrons were re-designated Helicopter Sea Combat (HSC).

Unlike all other Navy H-60s, the MH-60S is not based on the original S-70B/SH-60B platform with its forward-mounted twin tail-gear and single starboard sliding cabin door. Instead, the S-model is a hybrid, featuring the main fuselage of the S-70A/UH-60, with large sliding doors on both sides of the cabin and a single aft-mounted tail wheel; and the engines, drivetrain and rotors of the S-70B/SH-60.

In July 2009, the Republic of Korea requested eight MH-60S helicopters, 16 GE T700-401C engines, and related sensor systems to be sold in a Foreign Military Sale.


 This one is very much like the other Dragon H-60 kits that have been produced over the years, but does keep things in persepective with the proper bits for the version being kitted. Actually, this is one of the simpler kits in the series having but two sprues, one of them clear. The clear sprue continues to have the helo nose and the side doors as part of the molding. Everything else is on the other sprue and in grey plastic. Thanks to the simplicity of the aircraft itself with no external pylons or stores and no fancy weapons or radar systems, there is not much in the way of parts. However, the kit does provide a full cabin with seats.

The instructions have a total of four construction steps and the usual Gunze and Model Master paints. Interestingly, the tail color for the HSC-23 plane, listed as H326 are not among the colors in the color chart. It does look like a very dark blue. Markings are for the two box art helos, One from HSC-21 'Black Jacks' (which carries the tail markings of HC-11, a UH-46 unit, probably disestablished), and the other is HSC-23 'Wild Cards'. The decals are superbly done and add a considerable amount of interest to an otherwise dull grey helo.


If  1/144 is your scale or you just want  a kit that won't take months to build, then this one is definitely for you.



October 2009

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