Mitsubishi H-60
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Mitsubishi H-60
SH-60J/K Seahawk
UH-60J/JA Black Hawk
SH-60J landing (modified).jpg
A JMSDF SH-60J Seahawk helicopter from JDS Haruna lands on board USS Russell in 2007.
Role ASW/SAR helicopter
Manufacturer Sikorsky Aircraft
Mitsubishi Heavy Industries
First flight 31 August 1987
Introduction 1991
Status In service
Primary user Japan Self-Defense Forces
Sikorsky SH-60 Seahawk
Sikorsky UH-60 Black Hawk

The Mitsubishi H-60 series is twin-turboshaft engine helicopter based on the Sikorsky S-70 helicopter family for use by the Japan Self-Defense Forces (JSDF). The SH-60J/K are anti-submarine patrol versions for the Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force (JMSDF).[1] The UH-60J is a search and rescue version for the Japan Air Self-Defense Force (JASDF) and JMSDF. The UH-60JA is a utility version for the Japan Ground Self-Defense Force (JGSDF).[2]

Design and development


The JMSDF chose S-70B as the successor of the Mitsubishi HSS-2B Sea King. When the SH-X (later SH-60J) project started, it was immediately after HSS-2B was put into service, so initially it was planned to integrate a mission system of HSS-2B with a bare aircraft of SH-60B, but finally a system newly developed by the TRDI was adopted. It is similar to LAMPS Mk.III in that helicopter is equipped with a computer and connected to the mother ship's combat direction system via a data link, but it also has a dipping sonar as well as SH-60F.[3] The Defense Agency ordered two XSH-60Js from Sikorsky for $27 million. Their first flights were on 31 August and in October 1987. The Defense Agency designated the model SH-60J. They were fitted with Japanese avionics systems and tested by the JMSDF.[4]

The SH-60J is built in Japan under license from Sikorsky. It began deliveries in August 1991 and entered service thereafter. Based on a concept of the JMSDF, HQS-103 Dipping Sonar, HPS-104 active electronically scanned array Search Radar, and HLR-108 ESM System equipment of the avionics of SH-60B be different.[3] The engine is the GE/IHI T700-IHI-701C turboshaft, which Ishikawajima-Harima Heavy Industries produced under license. It is a hybrid of SH-60B and SH-60F, except for avionics. The crew includes a pilot, copilot and sensor operator. The copilot can concentrate on the role of Tactical Coordinator with the help of the Automatic Flight Management System and Inertial Navigation system.[5][6] Over 100 SH-60Js have been produced by 2007.[7]


A JMSDF SH-60K, 21st Squadron

The SH-60K is an upgraded version of the SH-60J.[8] The SH-60K anti-submarine helicopter which strengthened performance and versatility for the JMSDF. Mitsubishi began development in 1997. The SH-60K has formerly known as SH-60Kai.[9] The Director General of the Defense Agency admitted adoption in March 2005.[10]

Mitsubishi developed new main rotor blade, Ship Landing Assist System, new avionics system, and other systems. Two prototypes SH-60Ks were built by modifying SH-60Js. These prototypes were completed and delivered by June 2002. The SH-60K's cabin was expanded in length by 30 cm (11.8 in) and in height by 15 cm (5.91 in) compared to the SH-60J.[10] The larger cabin allows for the new avionics system.[11] Those and the airframe changes are compensated by the exchange of the T700-IHI-401C2 engine. The first production SH-60K was delivered to JMSDF on 10 August 2005.[10] A total of 50 SH-60Ks are being supplied under new production.[9]


A further upgrade version of SH-60K has planned and in development. It will be equipped with multi-static sonar system and a new adaptive control millimetric wave ultra-high-speed communication system (Click System) as well as improved engine transmission performance.[12][13]


A JASDF UH-60J, Training Squadron

In 1988, the Japan Air Self-Defense Force choose the UH-60L to replace its KV-107 and Sikorsky S-62 helicopters.[14][15] The first aircraft was built by Sikorsky, with the company designation S-70A-12, and two more were assembled by Mitsubishi Heavy Industries.[2][16] Mitsubishi is producing the remaining UH-60Js under license.[17][18] The Japan Marine Self-Defense Force also chose Search and rescue, and utility helicopters to replace the S-61A in 1989.

The UH-60J is powered by T700 engines license-built by Ishikawajima-Harima Heavy Industries in Japan. It features external fuel tanks, an external rescue winch, a Japan-built radar, a FLIR turret in the nose and bubble side windows for observers.[15] The Japan Air Self-Defense Force machines were fitted with T700-IHI-701A engines, while Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force machines were fitted with marinized T700-IHI-401C engines.[16] Fuel tanks can be attached to pylons on stub wings. The UH-60Js began deliveries in 1991 and entered service in 1992.[19] A total of 40 UH-60Js were in service in 2010. The JASDF ordered 40 newer UH-60Js in December 2010 to begin replacing older UH-60Js.[20]

Mitsubishi and Sikorsky have teamed in support of the Self Defense Force's mission requirements. The UH-60J+ incorporates various upgrades for the modern SAR mission.[21] By 2006 Defense budget of Japan, UH-60Js begin addition of Refueling probe in 2009.[22] These UH-60Js completed training with the United States Air Force and widened their activity in SAR mission.[23]


A JGSDF UH-60JA, Kasumigaura Aviation School

The Japan Ground Self-Defense Force ordered a utility variant of the UH-60L designated UH-60JA in 1995.[19] The JGSDF began receiving the UH-60JA in 1997.[2] It features improved avionics, including FLIR, Color weather radar, GPS receiver, a Night Vision Goggle compatible cockpit and wire cutter.[16][19] The JGSDF plans to acquire 70.[24]

The JGSDF plan was to replace its UH-1H helicopters which had become obsolete. Due to budgetary constraints it was decided to replace the rotary wing fleet with a high-low combination of UH-60JA and UH-1J (an updated UH-1H) with the UH-60JA being the high and the UH-1J the low.[25] By 2004 the budgetary constraints have driven the JGSDF to seriously consider eliminating either the UH-60JA or the UH-1J from the fleet, and purchasing just one type of airframe for the utility mission.[26]


JMSDF UH-60J lands aboard USS Fitzgerald
JMSDF USH-60K #8901 of Air Development Squadron 51
  • S-70B-2: Version purchased from Sikorsky for research by the Defense Agency.
  • XSH-60J: Prototype for SH-60J. 2 XSH-60Js were exported by Sikorsky.
  • SH-60J: Seahawk version for the Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force produced by Mitsubishi under licence.[1]
  • UH-60J: Rescue helicopter license produced by Mitsubishi for the Japan Air Self-Defense Force and the Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force.[14][15]
  • UH-60JA: Utility version for the Japan Ground Self-Defense Force based on the UH-60J.[24]
  • USH-60K: Among two prototypes, one was redesignated as evaluation type.[27]
  • SH-60K: Improved version of SH-60J. Trial manufacture finished in 2001, and deliveries began in August 2005.[8]
  • SH-60L: Improved version of SH-60K. Development began in 2015, delivery will begin in 2022.



UH-60Js Search and rescue wing.


On 26 August 2017, a Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force SH-60J crashed in the Sea of Japan off Aomori Prefecture in northern Japan. The helicopter was conducting takeoff and landing drills and had taken off from the destroyer Setogiri. It was based at the JMSDF's Ominato base in Mutsu in Aomori. One crew member was rescued, the other three were missing.[29][30][31] The JMSDF attributed the crash to human error.[32] The wreckage was later discovered at a depth of around 2,600 meters.[33][34] The wreck was salvaged in October and two bodies were found, that of the pilot and co-pilot. One crew member remains missing.[35]

On 17 October 2017, UH-60J 58-4596 of the Air Rescue Wing Hamamatsu Detachment crashed into the sea off Shizuoka Prefecture while conducting night rescue drills. Some wreckage was found but the four crew members were not located.[36][37] Major searches continued with SDF assets with other parts recovered.[38][39] A private salvage company started work from 2 November and located part of the fuselage.[40][41] In November, parts of the aircraft were recovered including the Flight Data Recorder (black box) from a location approximately 31 kilometers south of Hamamatsu Air Base.[42][43] On 29 November the body of one of the crew members was discovered in the wreckage.[44][45]

Specifications (SH-60J)

Data from Jane's All the World's Aircraft 2004-05[46]

General characteristics

  • Crew: 3 flight crew + mission crew of up to 9 (SH-60J/K)
  • Length: 19.8 m (65 ft 0 in) including rotor[]
  • Height: 5.2 m (17 ft 1 in)[]
  • Max takeoff weight: 9,750 kg (21,495 lb)[]
  • Powerplant: 2 × IHI Corporation-General Electric T700-IHI-401C turboshaft engines, 1,342 kW (1,800 hp) each
  • Main rotor diameter: 16.4 m (53 ft 10 in)[]
  • Main rotor area: 211.26 m2 (2,274.0 sq ft)[]
  • Blade section: root: SC1095/SC1095R8 ; tip: Sikorsky SC1095[47]


  • Maximum speed: 265 km/h (165 mph, 143 kn)[]
  • Range: 584 km (363 mi, 315 nmi)[]
  • Service ceiling: 5,790 m (19,000 ft)[]



  • Japanese HPS-105 aearch radar
  • Japanese ring laser AHRS
  • Japanese automatic FMS
  • Japanese datalink
  • Japanese tactical processor
  • Japanese display sub-system

See also

Related development

Aircraft of comparable role, configuration and era

Related lists


  1. ^ a b Mitsubishi SH-60J. Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, Ltd. Retrieved: 10 December 2008
  2. ^ a b c Mitsubishi UH-60J. Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, Ltd. Retrieved: 15 March 2010.
  3. ^ a b Maritime Staff Office, ed. (2003). 50 [History of 50 years of the Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force] (in Japanese). NCID BA67335381.
  4. ^ "Sikorsky SH-60B". All the World's Rotorcraft. Jane's Information Group, 2010. subscription article dated 1 February 2010.
  5. ^ "AFMS controller for the SH-60J". Jane's Avionics. Jane's Information Group, 24 January 2007. Retrieved: 18 December 2008.
  6. ^ "Strapdown Attitude and Heading Reference System for the SH-60J". Jane's Avionics. Jane's Information Group, 24 January 2007. Retrieved: 18 December 2008.
  7. ^ Leoni 2007, p. 280.
  8. ^ a b Mitsubishi SH-60K, Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, Ltd. Retrieved on 10 December 2008.
  9. ^ a b "Mitsubishi SH-60K Upgrade". Jane's, 11 June 2008.
  10. ^ a b c Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, Ltd. "Development of SH-60K Patrol Helicopter" (PDF). Technical Review Vol. 42 No. 5 (Dec. 2005). Retrieved 2009.
  11. ^ Goebel, Greg. "Seahawk in Foreign Service"., 1 April 2009.
  12. ^ Pre-project evaluation(New multi-purpose helicopter) - Ministry of Defense (Japan), 2014
  13. ^ Institute of Electronic Equipment R&D project - Defense Acquisition, Technology and Logistics Agency, 2019
  14. ^ a b Leoni 2007, p. 282.
  15. ^ a b c Bishop 2008, p. 40.
  16. ^ a b c Goebel, Greg. Sikorsky S-70 Black Hawk., 1 April 2009. Retrieved: 21 December 2010.
  17. ^ "Mitsubishi (Sikorsky) UH-60J". Jane's Helicopter Markets and Systems. Jane's Information Group, 2009. subscription article, dated 16 November 2009.
  18. ^ "Mitsubishi (Sikorsky) UH-60 (Japan)". Section Aircraft - Rotary-wing - Military, Jane's All the World's Aircraft. Jane's Information Group, 27 January 2010. Retrieved: 24 September 2010.
  19. ^ a b c Bishop 2008, p. 41.
  20. ^ Waldron, Greg. "Mitsubishi wins $2.3bn deal for 40 UH-60Js". Flight International, 9 December 2010.
  21. ^ Sikorsky Frontlines Q1 2009. Sikorsky, Q1 2009. Retrieved: 21 December 2009.
  22. ^ "Section 3. Mid-Term Defense Program". Annual White Paper, DEFENSE OF JAPAN 2008. Japan Ministry of Defense. Retrieved: 4 August 2010.
  23. ^ Angelique Perez. "33RQS helicopter pilots give air refueling training to JASDF". US Air Force Kadena Air Base, 2 April 2009. Retrieved: 15 March 2010.
  24. ^ a b Leoni 2007, pp. 282-283.
  25. ^ "Japan's new utility helicopter makes debut". Jane's Information Group, 29 September 1999. Retrieved: 11 August 2010.
  26. ^ Sobie, Brendan. "Japan rethinks helicopter needs". Flight International, 16 March 2004. Retrieved: 11 August 2010.
  27. ^ "Mitsubishi-Sikorsky UH-60 BlackHawk / SH-60 SeaHawk". Retrieved .
  28. ^ a b c "Directory: World Air Forces". Flight International, 11-17 November 2008.
  29. ^ "MSDF helicopter crashes in Sea of Japan, 3 aboard missing". Mainichi Shimbun. August 27, 2017. Retrieved 2017.
  30. ^ "MSDF chopper goes down off Aomori; three missing". Japan Times. August 27, 2017. Retrieved 2017.
  31. ^ "Crew member rescued after Japanese Seahawk crashes into sea; 3 still missing". Stars and Stripes. October 28, 2017. Retrieved 2017.
  32. ^ "Human error likely caused Seahawk crash in Sea of Japan, officials say". Stars and Stripes. September 11, 2017. Retrieved 2017.
  33. ^ "MSDF helicopter that crashed in August found on seabed off Aomori Pref". Mainichi Shimbun. October 25, 2017. Retrieved 2017.
  34. ^ Burke, Matthew M. (October 25, 2017). "Wreckage of Japanese Seahawk that crashed in summer found at bottom of sea". Stars and Stripes. Retrieved 2017.
  35. ^ "Wreck of salvaged MSDF chopper off Aomori yields two bodies; search for fourth sailor continues". Japan Times. October 27, 2017. Retrieved 2017.
  36. ^ Takahashi, Kosuke (October 18, 2017). "Four JASDF personnel missing following UH-60J helo crash off coast of Shizuoka Prefecture". Jane's Information Group. Retrieved 2017.
  37. ^ "Helmets found in waters off Shizuoka Prefecture where ASDF chopper with four aboard apparently crashed". Japan Times. October 18, 2017. Retrieved 2017.
  38. ^ ?. (in Japanese). October 20, 2017. Retrieved 2017.
  39. ^ "UH-60J ?". (in Japanese). October 21, 2017. Retrieved 2017.
  40. ^ ?. (in Japanese). November 11, 2017. Retrieved 2017.
  41. ^ "11?17UH-60J?". (in Japanese). November 20, 2017. Retrieved 2017.
  42. ^ "(UH-60J)?(?4?)" (PDF). Japan Ministry of Defense. November 26, 2017. Retrieved 2017.
  43. ^ "UH-60J". November 27, 2017. Retrieved 2017.
  44. ^ "(UH-60J)?(?6?)" (PDF). December 3, 2017. Retrieved 2017.
  45. ^ "UH-60J1?". December 4, 2017. Retrieved 2017.
  46. ^ Jackson, Paul, ed. (2004). Jane's All the World's Aircraft 2004-05 (95th ed.). London: Jane's Publishing Group. pp. 333-334. ISBN 0-7106-2614-2.
  47. ^ Lednicer, David. "The Incomplete Guide to Airfoil Usage". Retrieved 2019.
  • Leoni, Ray D. Black Hawk, The Story of a World Class Helicopter, American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics, 2007. ISBN 978-1-56347-918-2.
  • Bishop, Chris. Sikorsky UH-60 Black Hawk, Osprey Publishing, 2008. ISBN 978-1-84176-852-6.

External links

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