Naval Aviation – No. 6 Squadron
Naval aviation comprises a mix of both Navy and Air Force personnel who operate and maintain a fleet of eight Kaman SH-2G(I) Super Seasprite helicopters and a simulator, known as No. 6 Squadron (6 SQN).
Commander Sam Greenhalgh, RNZN
No. 6 Squadron is based at Royal New Zealand Air Force Base Auckland and is one of the force elements under the command of the Air Component Commander (ACC), Headquarters Joint Forces New Zealand.
The helicopters are deployed from Base Auckland to HMNZS ships Te Kaha, Te Mana, Canterbury, Otago and Wellington. When onboard Te Kaha and Te Mana the aircraft fulfil a combat and surveillance role as well as providing transport and vertical replenishment capability. When deployed onboard Canterbury, Otago and Wellington the aircraft are primarily tasked to provide surveillance, reconnaissance, transport and vertical replenishment capabilities.
No. 6 Squadron regularly supports the operations of other government agencies.
The New Zealand Defence Force (NZDF) has flown Seasprite helicopters since 1998 with the then Kaman SH-2F and the SH-2G(NZ) since 2001. In 2016, the NZDF transitioned to the “I” variant.
The Super Seasprite is one of the most technologically advanced helicopters in the world. Manufactured by Kaman Aerosystems, the Super Seasprite SH-2G "I" variant was delivered to the Ministry of Defence and commissioned into the Royal New Zealand Air Force on 14 April 2016. The Kaman Super Seasprite helicopter is the third variant to serve in the Royal New Zealand Air Force.
- Weight (max take-off): 6 tonnes
- Beam: 3 metres (main rotor diameter 13.5 metres)
- Height: 4.09 metres
- Length: 16 metres
- Speed: 120 knots (operating a max 150 knots)
- Range: 450 nautical miles (endurance 3.5 hours)
- Complement: 3 crew, (pilot, observer and loadmaster) plus four passengers
- Evacuation: One stretcher and one attendant
Can be armed with a combination of:
- Homing torpedoes
- Penguin air-to-ship missiles
- MAG58 machine gun