Royal Australian Navy receives first MH-60R helicopters
The first two MH-60R helicopters have been accepted by the Royal Australian Navy (RAN) at ceremony at Lockheed Martin’s Owego facility. The RAN has 24 MH-60R aircraft on order as part of a AUS$3 billion programme to replace its Seahawk fleet.
The MH-60R, already in service with the US Navy, is manufactured by Sikorsky and fitted with mission and sensor systems by Lockheed Martin. The multi-role naval combat aircraft will bring the RAN an advanced anti-submarine and anti-surface warfare capability for open-ocean and littoral zones.
Rear Admiral CJ Jaynes, program executive officer for Air Anti-Submarine Warfare, Assault and Special Mission Programs, which oversees the US Navy's H-60 program office, said: ‘The advanced anti-submarine and anti-surface warfare capabilities of the MH-60 Romeo are a game-changer in shifting the advantage from the submarine to the helicopter, which is essential in today's maritime security environment. We are excited to extend our partnership with the RAN through the delivery of these advanced helicopters.’
Rear Adm. Tony Dalton who heads the Australian Defence Organisation's Helicopter Systems Division, added: ‘The Seahawk Romeo is an evolutionary step forward from the Seahawk 'Classic' it replaces. The Romeo builds on the known and trusted Seahawk air vehicle, incorporating state-of-the-art sensors in an open architecture, integrated mission system. The Romeo is a potent maritime combat helicopter. We look forward to sharing in the US Navy's ongoing technology upgrades and continuing to build upon the proven capabilities.’
The MH-60R also provides secondary mission capabilities including search and rescue, vertical replenishment, naval surface fire support, logistics support, personnel transport, medical evacuation, and VHF/UHF/link communication relay.
The entire fleet will be delivered incrementally to the RAN by the end of 2016.
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