Kitty Hawk 1/35 MH-60R Seahawk
|REVIEWER:||Scott Van Aken|
The MH-60R was originally known as "LAMPS Mark III Block II Upgrade" when development began in 1993 with Lockheed Martin (formerly IBM/Loral). Two SH-60Bs were converted by Sikorsky, the first of which made its maiden flight on 22 December 1999. Designated YSH-60R, they were delivered to NAS Patuxent River in 2001 for flight testing. The production variant was redesignated MH-60R to match its multi-mission capability. The MH-60R was formally deployed by the US Navy in 2006.
The MH-60R is designed to combine the features of the SH-60B and SH-60F. Its avionics includes dual controls and instead of the complex array of dials and gauges in Bravo and Foxtrot aircraft, 4 fully integrated 8" x 10" night vision goggle-compatible and sunlight-readable color multi-function displays, all part of glass cockpit produced by Owego Helo Systems division of Lockheed Martin. Onboard sensors include: AN/AAR-47 Missile Approach Warning System by ATK,Raytheon AN/AAS-44 electro-optical system that integrates FLIR and laser rangefinder, AN/ALE-39 decoy dispenser and AN/ALQ-144 infrared jammer by BAE Systems, AN/ALQ-210 electronic support measures system by Lockheed Martin, AN/APS-147 multi-mode radar/IFF interrogator, which during a mid-life technology insertion project is subsequently replaced by AN/APS-153 Multi-Mode Radar with Automatic Radar Periscope Detection and Discrimination (ARPDD) capability, and both radars were developed by Telephonics, a more advanced AN/AQS-22 advanced airborne low-frequency sonar (ALFS) jointly developed by Raytheon & Thales, AN/ARC-210 voice radio by Rockwell Collins, an advanced airborne fleet data link AN/SRQ-4 Hawklink with radio terminal set AN/ARQ-59 radio terminal, both by L3Harris, and LN-100G dual-embedded global positioning system and inertial navigation system by Northrop Grumman Litton division. Beginning in 2020, CAE's MAD-XR has begun to be fielded on MH-60Rs, providing the platform with a magnetic anomaly detector.
Offensive capabilities are improved by the addition of new Mk-54 air-launched torpedoes and Hellfire missiles. All Helicopter Anti-Submarine Light (HSL) squadrons that receive the Romeo are redesignated Helicopter, Strike Maritime (HSM) squadrons.
Kitty Hawk has had a lot of success with their 1/35 H-60 helicopter variants and so adds to that list this very nice one of the most recent USN helo. These helicopters are one reason that the S-3 was removed from the inventory many years back. It was felt they could do the same job as the Viking so there was no need to keep putting money into maintaining and upgrading an aging airframe.
As you'd expect, there is a ton of detail in this kit. There are several sprues unique to this variant along with a number from previous H-60 kits so you will have quite a few parts left over. There is the full cockpit and cabin with the latter housing all the proper ASW controls and the housings for the sonobouys. While the photo etch fret includes harnesses for the front seats, there are none for the guys in back. Typical of Kitty Hawk kits, the cockpit and cabin make up a separate subassembly that is then trapped between the two fuselage halves. When doing this, the tail wheel assembly is also trapped by the halves.
You are provided two complete engines along with a lot of their plumbing. Even if you don't want to model the engine hatches open, you should at least install the base engine so you'll not have blank holes for the intake and exhaust. My experience with some KH kits is that modeling hatches closed is quite feasible, but not always the best fit. While the instructions show these along with cockpit and cabin doors closed, it is quite easy to model them open. In fact, you'll probably want to do that with the cabin door so you don't hide all that detail.
On this kit the tail section is separate. You have the option of having the tail and stabilizers folded and at the end of the instructions are directions on installing all the blades folded along with their braces. In addition to all the various antennas and sensors that are scabbed on to the outside of the airframe, you have stub wings. These are for the Hellfire missiles. Just aft of those you can put either a torpedo or external tanks. In the cabin door you can put a machine gun attached to the door frame. As you are probably aware, unless flying a mission that requires external weapons, these aircraft usually fly unfettered. However, it is nice to have them available in case you want to do an 'air show' load.
Instructions are very well done and actually flow well. I guess this is due to the lack of variations on the theme as with some of their earlier H-60 kits. You are provided with six very colorful options as all that are provided are fancy CAG birds. Want to do a plain jane line bird then you will have to go with aftermarket. The three decal sheets are superbly printed and experience with Kitty Hawk decals proves them to be very thin so care will be needed when it comes to application. You may want to cut some of them to make them easier to apply.
This is another lovely and very detailed kit from Kitty Hawk. It will take a while to build, but I can guarantee you that the resulting model will be a real beauty.
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Thanks to Glen Coleman and Kitty Hawk for the preview kit.
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