US approves almost $1 billion helicopter sale to Spain
The US State Department approved an FMS to Spain for eight MH-60R helicopters and associated equipment and weaponry for $950 million on 16 March.
The principal contractor for the deal will be Lockheed Martin Rotary and Mission Systems, Owego, NY.
The MH-60Rs will primarily provide the capability to perform anti-surface and anti-submarine warfare missions, while secondary missions include vertical replenishment, SAR and communications relay.
In terms of weaponry, the deal lists hellfire missile launchers, GAU-21 crew-served guns, LAU-61 rocket launchers, APKWS II capabilities and associated ammunition.
The aircraft will come readily equipped with a range of non-lethal equipment such as radio terminals, IFF transponders, radars and more.
The contract includes follow-on services such as repairs, parts, personnel training and engineering and logistical support.
As indicated in the announcement, the helicopters will be delivered to the Spanish Navy and support its ability to remain interoperable with US and NATO allies.
According to Shephard Defence Insight, Spain currently operates 14 SH-60Bs, from which the MH-60R is derived.
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