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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.

Service History

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:

  1. Sept. 11, 1987: One crashed near Nanau of Yilan county. One pilot was missing.
  2. Unknown date, 1988: One made a crash landing onboard the Panama ship Timberglory after developing mechanical problems.
  3. Jan. 1, 1990: 6906 crashed into sea off Tsoying, when former ROCN Commander-in-Chief Adm. Chung-Lien Ku, then a Vice Adm., was onboard. There was no casualty. The helicopter had been soaked in sea water for 72 hours before it was raised out of water. No longer flightworthy, it was written off on Feb. 25. It had been used as an instruction airframe and later on display at the Hualien base, but its current status is unknown.
  4. Jan. 16, 1990: One crashed in Tainan county, killing both crew.
  5. Jan. 11, 2005: The pilot of 6912 was forced to land the helicopter in a field in Kaohsiung County at 1010 hours after its engine malfunctioned. The strut landing gear was broken due to the crash but none of the crew, consisting of the pilot, co-pilot, and crew chief, were injured. They were all taken to a military hospital for evaluation and then released.

Fleet Images

500MD/ASW 6901 (Photo by Jason Tu) 6901 (Photo by Jason Tu) 500MD/ASW 6905 (Photo by Jason Tu) 6905 (Photo by Jason Tu) 500MD/ASW 6907 (Photo by Jason Tu) 6907 (Photo by Jason Tu) 500MD/ASW 6908 (Photo by Jason Tu) 6908 (Photo by Jason Tu)
500MD/ASW 6910 (Photo by Jason Tu) 6910 (Photo by Jason Tu) 500MD/ASW 6911 (Photo by Jason Tu) 6911 (Photo by Jason Tu) 500MD/ASW 6912 6912 500MD/ASW 6914 (Photo by Jason Tu) 6914 (Photo by Jason Tu)
500MD/ASW 6915 (Photo by Jason Tu) 6915 (Photo by Jason Tu)

Fleet Information

ROCN 500MD/ASW were given serial numbers from 6901 to 6914, skipping 6904 (the number 4 sounds like "death" in Chinese) and 6913.

Tail No. Remark
6902 w/o
6903 w/o
6906 w/o
6915 Attrition replacement

 Last update: 01/04/06 TaiwanAirPower > Navy > Top