Spanish Navy orders eight Sikorsky MH-60R Seahawk helicopters
Lockheed Martin has received a contract from the US Navy (USN) to produce eight Sikorsky MH-60R Seahawk helicopters for the Spanish Navy (Armada).
According to the US DoD contract notification, the Foreign Military Sales (FMS) deal has been valued at $379.6 million and will run through March 2027. In its prior approval, the US government valued the total procurement (including associated equipment, weapons and services) at $950 million.
The new maritime helicopters will fulfil roles currently carried out by the 12 SH-60Bs the Armada operates, providing the service with advanced mission systems and sensors for anti-submarine warfare (ASW) and anti-surface warfare (ASuW). The Spanish Navy received the SH-60Bs between 1988 and 2001.
The Armada is expected to buy more MH-60Rs or NHIndustries NH90 helicopters in the near future as SH-60B replacements.
‘We expect a smooth transition from the SH-60B to the MH-60R,’ the Spanish naval service said in a statement.
The Armada currently has in operation SH-60F, Bell AB212, and MD 500 helicopter types, with NH90s set to arrive between 2023 and 2025 to replace the interim SH-60Fs. It retired the last of 18 Sikorsky SH-3 Sea King helicopters last year.
MH-60R, a variant of the H-60 Black Hawk, has been derived from the original SH-60B Bravo Seahawk which was retired by the USN in 2015.
Its primary missions have been ASW and ASuW, with secondary missions including search and rescue (SAR), vertical replenishment, naval surface fire support, logistic support, communications relay, personnel transport and medevac.
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