Employed in the Vietnam War, the Sea Knight is the oldest type helicopter currently flying in front-line U.S. military service. Since 1964 the "Phrog" has served as the Marines' medium-lift assault helicopter.
The H-46 fleet remains capable, reliable and economical thanks to modification programs, under which dynamic components have been replaced with new components designed to improve corrosion resistance, increase wear protection and improve component damage tolerance.
Other improvements include:
- Larger fuel tanks, effectively doubling mission radius from 80 nautical miles (148 km) to more than to 160 nautical miles (297 km)
- Cockpit compatibility with night-vision goggles
- Emergency flotation systems
- Upgraded engine condition control systems
- Enhanced communication and navigation control systems
In addition to moving troops and equipment in Marine combat assault missions, the Sea Knight is used for medical evacuation, aircraft recovery, firefighting, disaster relief and search and rescue operations.