The Royal Australian Navy accepted the first two MH-60R helicopters from the U.S. Navy in a ceremony yesterday at the Lockheed Martin facility in Owego, N.Y.
“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,” said Rear Admiral CJ Jaynes, program executive officer for Air Anti-Submarine Warfare, Assault and Special Mission Programs, which oversees the U.S. Navy’s H-60 program office. “We are excited to extend our partnership with the Royal Australian Navy through the delivery of these advanced helicopters.”
Manufactured by Sikorsky Aircraft and provided with advanced mission systems and sensors by Lockheed Martin, the MH-60R is already operational and deploying as the primary U.S. Navy anti-submarine and anti-surface warfare system for open-ocean and littoral zones. The U.S. Navy answered the Australian Defence Force’s requirement for a fleet of 24 new-generation, multi-role naval combat aircraft with the proven MH-60R helicopters. The entire fleet will be delivered incrementally by the end of 2016.
“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,” said Rear Adm. Tony Dalton who heads the Australian Defence Organisation’s Helicopter Systems Division. “We look forward to sharing in the U.S. Navy’s ongoing technology upgrades and continuing to build upon the proven capabilities.”
“MH-60R helicopters host the complete package of sensors and systems aboard the helicopter to address today’s increasing submarine and surface warfare threats,” said Lockheed Martin Vice President of Aviation Systems Dan Spoor. “We are honored to partner with the U.S. Navy and the Royal Australian Navy to deliver these capabilities.”
In addition to the MH-60R’s unmatched capability in its primary mission areas of anti-submarine and anti-surface warfare, it also has the capability for secondary missions such as search and rescue, vertical replenishment, naval surface fire support, logistics support, personnel transport, medical evacuation, and VHF/UHF/link communication relay.
Press Release, December 11, 2013; Image: Lockheed Martin