Seasprite was originally conceived as a small-ships, single engined combat search and rescue airframe for the US Navy
. The prototype first flew on 2 Jul 1959. 184 UH-2A/B were built between 1961 and 1963. Between 1967 and 1970 most were upgraded to UH-2C or HH-2C by retrofit of twin 1250 SHP T58-GE-8B turboshaft engines. Further modifications to LAMPS-1 standard in 1973 for some airframes. Upgrades to ASW equipped SH-3D for further airframes. Production restarted in 1981 in response to President Reagans 600 ship fleet inititative and the delay to the SH-60B Seahawk
, with more powerful (1350 SHP) T58-GE-8F twin engines and the Kaman 101 rotor system which became the SH-2F. All remaining US Navy -C models have been upgraded to -F.
Plans announced in 1985 to provide an improved version of the Kaman SH-2 Seasprite, mainly for the us export market (initially for south korea and taiwan). By 2001, airframes were in use in Australia, Egypt, New Zealand and Poland.
The SH-2G Super Seasprite
has improved twin GE T700-GE-401 turboshaft engines.