RAN MH-60R fleet nears completion
The final MH-60R Seahawk helicopter destined for the Royal Australian Navy (RAN) via the US foreign military sales (FMS) programme has been delivered by Lockheed Martin to the US Navy. The company announced the handover on 28 July.
The Australian government ordered 24 MH-60R Seahawks from the US in June 2011 to fulfil the RAN’s Air 9000 Phase 8 requirement for multirole naval combat helicopters. The first aircraft was accepted in 2013.
Known as Romeo, the MH-60R is replacing the RAN’s existing S-70B-2 Seahawk fleet. The fleet will be deployed in a number of roles, including anti-submarine and anti-surface warfare; along with search and rescue, vertical replenishment, naval surface fire support, logistics support, personnel transport, medical evacuation, and VHF/UHF/link communication relay.
Cdre Scott Lockey, director general navy aviation systems, RAN, said: ‘In late 2010, the Australian government had not yet made a decision to acquire the Romeo, and yet here we are in mid-2016 accepting the 24th, and final, aircraft.
‘The RAN has formed the first three embarked flights, conducted the first Hellfire missile shoot and conducted a highly successful ‘DIPEX’ against a Collins class submarine. None of this would have been possible without the professional work conducted by everyone at Lockheed Martin involved in the Romeo programme.’
More from Defence Helicopter
Two KAI helicopters, the KUH-1E utility helicopter and the Light Attack Helicopter (LAH), have taken centre stage at the Dubai Airshow 2023.
The Italian Navy now boasts a fleet of 56 NH90 helicopters comprising 46 SH-90As and 10 MH-90As.
The Argentinian Air Force (FAA) and the Argentinian Naval Aviation Command (COAN) are looking for options to upgrade their helicopter fleets.
Lockheed Martin promises a boost to the British job market and export opportunities, while strengthening ties with Poland and positioning the UK for a future in rotorcraft technology in the event of a New Medium Helicopter competition triumph.
Airbus Helicopters and KAI have agreed a contract covering the supply of helicopter components for the latter over the next decade.
The Canadian Commercial Corporation (CCC) is has been awarded an indefinite-delivery indefinite-quantity (IDIQ) contract by the US DoD to provide a high-lift heliporter designed and manufactured by Dart Aerospace to the USN.