The SH-2G's primary missions include anti-submarine and anti-surface warfare, anti-ship missile defense, and anti-ship surveillance and targeting. Secondary missions may include medical evacuation, search and rescue, personnel and cargo transfer, as well as small boat interdiction, amphibious assault air support, gun fire spotting, mine detection and battle damage assessment.
The SH-2G has a crew of three: two pilots and a sensor operator (SENSO). However, it can also be flown by a single pilot and SENSO, due to the flexible integrated tactical avionics system (ITAS) designed by Kaman and Northrop Grumman (formerly Litton) Guidance & Controls. ITAS is driven by dual mission data processors and uses two dual 1553B databuses to integrate sensors, weapons, communications and navigation equipment.
The glass cockpit has four colour multifunction displays and new centre console, which has two smart display units to simplify data entry by the pilot and the SENSO.
The SH-2G can be armed with Raytheon AGM-65 Maverick infrared imaging or TV-guided, Penguin infrared imaging, radar-guided Improved Sea Skua, and laser-designated Hellfire missiles.
The SH-2G is cleared for mk44, mk46 and mk50 torpedoes, and is compatible with a wide range of European ASW weapons.
Royal New Zealand Navy SH-2Gs have been fitted with the Fabrique Nationale (FN) MAG-58M 7.62mm machinegun as an urgent operational requirement. First operational deployment with the gun was in May 2008.