The last two helicopters – the last of a fleet of 18 aircraft - completed their last landings on Thursday 23 June, and will be replaced by SH-60F Seahawks.
The first SH-3 was delivered to the navy to the naval base Rota aboard the USS Independence in June 1966, with subsequent aircraft delivered in four batches.
The aircraft were operated by the navy’s 5th Naval Air Squadron to operate anti-submarine missions from their base at the aircraft carrier Dedalo. In addition, three helicopters were later fitted with British Searchwater radar systems in 1987 for use as part of an Airborne Early Warning mission.
Following the introduction of the SH-60B Seahawk in 2003, the squadron’s primary mission was later changed to amphibious and logistics support. The fleet’s phasing out later began in 2017 with the arrival of new SH-60F Seahawks.
The US government recently proposed the sale of eight MH-60R Seahawk helicopters to the Spanish navy in March 2022. In addition, the Spanish Ministries of Defence and Interior also recently ordered 36 Airbus H135 helicopters in December 2021.