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The Kaman SH-2 Seasprite is a ship-based helicopter originally developed and produced by American manufacturer Kaman Aircraft Corporation. It has been typically used as a compact and fast-moving rotorcraft for utility and anti-submarine warfare missions. Development of the Seasprite had been initiated during the late 1950s in response to a request from the United States Navy, calling for a suitably fast and compact naval helicopter for utility missions.
Kaman's submission, internally designated as the K-20, was favourably evaluated, leading to the issuing of a contract for the construction of four prototypes and an initial batch of 12 production helicopters, designated as the HU2K-1. Due to its unsatisfactory performance, from 1968 onwards, the U.S. Navy's existing UH-2s were remanufactured from their originally-delivered single-engine arrangement to a more powerful twin-engine configuration.
During October 1970, the Seasprite was selected by the U.S. Navy as the platform for the interim Light Airborne Multi-Purpose System (LAMPS) helicopter, which resulted in greatly enhanced anti-submarine and anti-surface threat capabilities being developed and installed upon a new variant of the type, designated as the SH.2F. Accordingly, during the 1970s and 1980s, the majority of the existing UH-2 helicopters were remanufactured into the improved SH-2F model. In this configuration, the Seasprite extended and increased shipboard sensor and weapon capabilities against several types of enemy threats, including submarines of all types, surface ships and patrol craft that may be armed with anti-ship missiles.
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