Spanish Navy


6th AIRCRAFT SQUADRON (HUGHES 500) - Aircraft - Armada Española - Ministerio de Defensa - Gobierno de España

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Tuesday, 16 January 2018 - document to 17:57:45


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Welcome to the website of the 6th Aircraft Squadron.

This “old” squadron, with more than 40 years operational, is still the first point of contact of many Spanish Navy members with the air-sea world. Future pilots fly this aircraft for 4 hours during their standard training at the Naval Academy; helicopter controllers serve their internship with these helicopters; signalmen on board Navy ships also practice with these choppers.

We are very proud of the training tradition of our squadron, as well as our additional tasks of logistic support or surveillance.

Although the Hughes 500s are at the end of their operational life, we continue working with eagerness, and thinking in future replacements to enhance our training and operational capabilities.

Characteristics - 6th Aircraft Squadron (HUGHES 500)
Characteristics Values
LENGTH 9.23 m.
HEIGHT 2.59 m.
RANGE 2.15 hours.


2 pilots + 1 crane operator

What we do - 6th Aircraft Squadron (HUGHES 500)

The main mission of the 6th Aircraft Squadron is training, but the operability of the Hughes 500 makes it ideal for certain type of auxiliary missions and low intensity operations.

Squadron missions

  • Flight School
    • Selection of future pilots.
    • Familiarisation flights with Naval Academy students.
  • Support the Naval Aircrew School
    • Naval pilot course
    • Signalmen course
    • Helicopter controller training course.

Auxiliary/Operational missions

  • Ashore.
    • Public relations
    • Parades, demonstrations, air shows
    • SAR and air surveillance
  • Marine Corps support
    • Sniper platform (escort, BOARDEX exercises)
    • Deployment of Special Operations Units.
    • Platform of Forward Air Controllers (FAC)
    • Reconnaissance and Intelligence gathering.
  • At sea
    • Embarked Air Units.
    • Vertical replenishment over ships (VERTREP)
    • Cargo transport / Personnel transport
    • Naval gunfire targeting / correction
    • Medical evacuation
    • Forward observer in surface warfare
    • Radar and system alignment
    • Patrol / Maritime surveillance
    • Surface search in LANTOR exercises
    • Air-naval crew familiarisation

Where we are - 6th Aircraft Squadron (HUGHES 500)

The 6th Aircraft Squadron is part of the Spanish Navy Air Flotilla with base in Rota Naval Base (Cádiz).

Materiel - 6th Aircraft Squadron (HUGHES 500)

The Squadron is made up of 9 Hughes 369 HM (HUGHES 500) helicopters. Originally there were 14 units, but for different reasons, 5 of them were decommissioned. The aircraft do not have weapons since their main role is training, but before other sophisticated helicopters were purchased, they were fitted with torpedo launchers.

Our history - 6th Aircraft Squadron (HUGHES 500)

The 6th Aircraft Squadron was set up in the 70’s to equip the five “Churruca”-class destroyers with light ASW helicopters.

A first batch of five Hughes 369 HS was delivered in 1972. They were later fitted with floats and torpedo launchers. By 1977, the squadron had a total of 14 helicopters.

When the destroyers were decommissioned and larger helicopters procured, the Squadron was converted into a Training Unit, as has already been explained.

Who we are - 6th Aircraft Squadron (HUGHES 500)

The Squadron’s complement is small because of the simple maintenance of the aircraft. It consists of 10 officers (9 pilots and 1 maintenance officer), 13 NCOs and 16 leading seamen and ratings.

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