Italeri 1/48 SH-60B Seahawk




@ €17.00


two aircraft


Dr. Frank Spahr




 Sikorsky´s H-60 series is becoming more and more the standard rotary wing aircraft in the US armed forces in various subtypes. Current efforts are aimed at more standardization to only two subtypes, thus easing maintenance, supply and cutting costs. Since its introduction around 1980, the H-60 series has in the Navy replaced the legendary SH-3, being for it (to me, a total outsider to the military) what the F/A-18 Hornet has been to the F-14 Tomcat with all the emotions involved. I am aware that there has been points brought forward stating that the successor was less capable than the succeeded (look into Squadron Signal´s „SH-3 in action“ and you´ll see what I mean). In all, the H-60 is a smaller aircraft than the Seaking with all its advantages and drawbacks. I´d be curious to learn more about this issue from those actively involved.

 This version, the SH-60B is used as shipboard multipurpose helicopter for USN surface ships, frigates, destroyers and cruisers. The USN website gives the following description:

 Used in: Navy, Army, Air Force, Coast Guard

 Description: A twin-engine, medium lift, utility or assault helicopter.

 Features: The Seahawk is a twin-engine helicopter. It is used for anti-submarine warfare, search and rescue, drug interdiction, anti-ship warfare, cargo lift, and special operations. The Navy's SH-60B Seahawk is an airborne platform based aboard cruisers, destroyers, and frigates and deploys sonobouys (sonic detectors) and torpedoes in an anti-submarine role. They also extend the range of the ship's radar capabilities. The Navy's SH-60F is carrier-based. Some versions, such as the Air Force's MH-60 G Pave Hawk and the Coast Guard's HH-60J Jayhawk, are equipped with a rescue hoist with a 250 foot (75 meter) cable that has a 600 pound (270 kg) lift capability, and a retractable in-flight refueling probe. The Army's UH-60L Black Hawk can carry 11 soldiers or 2,600 pounds (1,170 kg) of cargo or sling load 9,000 pounds (4,050 kg) of cargo.

 Background: The UH-60 Black Hawk was fielded by the Army in 1979. The Navy received the SH- 60B Seahawk in 1983 and the SH-60F in 1988. The Air Force received the MH-60G Pave Hawk in 1982 while the Coast Guard received the HH-60J Jayhawk in 1992. The unit cost varies with the version. For example, the unit cost of the Army's UH-60L Black Hawk is $5.9 million while the unit cost of the Air Force MH-60G Pave Hawk is $10.2 million.

 This helicopter is also known as LAMPS Mk III. The acronym translates as Light Airborne Multipurpose System and describes the navy´s requirements for this system; you might find more info using this search kreyword.

 Further and rather extensive info on the SH-60 is to be found at




My kit is copyrighted 2003, a rather fresh issue. Italeri has already produced a Seahawk in 1:72 several years ago, which was the last kit I personally trashed after several gluing and plastic melting mishaps due to my fault. Well, figuratively speaking there was an open bill between this helicopter and me, so I just had to have it when I recently ambled through the basement of my favorite mailorder shop in Braunschweig. I had already spent a hefty sum on odds and ends, such as masking tape, thinners, putty and the like and felt a visit there would be incomplete without a real kit.  

Well, what do you get for your 17 EURO´s? You get three sprues of  standard medium grey (ha ha!) plastic, two big ones and a smaller one with the „naval“ items, plus a sprue with very nice clear parts, some of which are not to be used as they are for other land-based versions. Decals are for a USN a/c o´f HSL-47 and for a Japanese a/c . I am ignorant as to from which ships both a/c flew and as to the proper timeframe. Anyway, the American helicopter is in a three-tone gray (!) lo-vis scheme, whereas the japanese has this nations´s  white over gull gray hi-vis scheme. The decals are finely printed in Italy as the whole kit is made there. Instructions are very clear, colors are given in Model Master and FS  numbers where appropriate.

 The kit displays the meanwhile common Italeri quality in that it is crisply molded without any flash whatsoever; my inspection showed no embarassing sink or ejector pin marks. I cannot comment on accuracy in measurements, but – I hardly dare saying this – it looks like a Seahawk to me (duck and cover).

 All detail is finely engraved, panel lines are recessed, rivets very finely raised. The general level of detail is rather nice, especially the sonobuoy launcher and the pre-bent rotor blades looked nice to me. The rear landing gear and two of my dear friends, the blade antennas, are integral to the left fuselage half and will surely try their very best to get chopped off at some point during construction.

 The cockpit, especially the seats are a little basic, the instrument panels are represented by decals, but I can´t yet tell whether that matters much.

 I can´t really judge the accuracy of the rotor heads, being not one of them myself (pun intended), but you might like to have a look at walkaround pics, sadly not of the main rotorhead but from much else, under

 I looked for a PE set at but found nothing yet. Given this company´s prolific production, it´s only a matter of time until you get a tailor-made replacement set that will be sure to highlight especially the cockpit.


 All in all, this is a very fine kit for a very reasonable price; what shortcomings there are lie in the cockpit but can surely be solved in the more or less near future (by my reckoning!) I´m already looking forward to paint mine and repaint it and overpaint it and repaint it a bit more until I really start spraying and rubbing those big exhaust marks on it. Could be a project where to use nearly as many shades of gre(a)y than an Irishman can distinguish greens ;-)

I can only recommend this kit, have fun with it.

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