|Hughes 500MD/ASW Defender||Service History||Fleet Images||Fleet Information|
The 500MD/ASW is Taiwan's first helicopter dedicated to anti-submarine warfare.
These helicopters feature a Bendix RDR-1300 search radar housed in a nose radome
offset to the port side.
One towed ASQ-81C(V)2 magnetic anomaly detector (MAD) can be carried on the starboard fuselage.
The skids are heightened to provide extra clearance for one or two Mk44 or Mk46
torpedos and/or smoke markers carried underneath the fuselage, although normally only one torpedo is carried
to maximize endurance and range.
Hughes developed a Haul-Down kit for the 500DM/ASW,
whose function is similar to that of the RAST (Recovery, Assist, Securing, and Traversing) system
used by the S-70C(M).
The kit provides the capability of landing the helicopter on the deck of a moving ship
during heavy seas and adverse weather conditions.
Inflatable floats can be attached to the skids to provide floating capabilities in case of emergency.
Taiwan ordered twelve 500MD/ASW in 1977 under the program coded named "Seahawk". Following an accident in 1987, in which a 500MD/ASW was lost, Taiwan ordered an unarmed version as an attrition replacement. This helicopter, serialled 6915, is used as a trainer only.
The 500MD/ASW arrived in Taiwan on March 4, 1980, and were assigned to the Fleet Helicopter Squadron of the ROC Navy. They reached IOC at the end of 1983 and were deployed onboard "Gearing" and "Sumner" class destroyers. To accommodate the newer S-70C(M)-1, the Fleet Helicopter Squadron was expanded to the Fleet Helicopter Group on July 1, 1991. The 500MD/ASW were re-assigned to the 501st Helicopter Squadron (Light).
When the S-2T were transferred from ROCAF to ROCN in 1999, the Fleet Helicopter Group was redesignated the 2nd Aviation Group. The 501st Helicopter Squadron (Light) remained with this Group.
Five 500MD/ASW, including 6902, 6903, 6906, 6912, and an unknown serial number,
have been lost in the following accidents:
ROCN 500MD/ASW were given serial numbers from 6901 to 6914, skipping 6904 (the number 4 sounds like "death" in Chinese) and 6913.