The Royal Australian Navy’s NUSQN 725 squadron took delivery of the first MH-60R Seahawk Romeo maritime combat helicopter duo at an ‘In Service Date’ ceremony on Friday, January 24th at Naval Air Station Jacksonville, Florida.
The delivery of Sea Hawk Romeo helicopters, which are replacing the Navy’s ‘Classic’ Sea Hawk, was achieved on budget and six months ahead of schedule. The initial aircraft will be joined by five more until the end of the year.
The first two of twenty-four airframes on order from Sikorsky and Lockheed Martin were delivered to the Defence Material Organisation (DMO) in early December 2013.
According to Commanding Officer of NUSQN 725, Commander David Frost the helicopters’ primary usage will be in the anti submarine and anti-surface warfare by providing an air-to-surface missile capability.
“Since acceptance of the first two aircraft in December, we have commenced a graduated flying program, building on the skills, techniques, and tactics that were taught during Operational Flying Training with the United States Navy.”
“We will continue to consolidate our skills over the next 12 months prior to returning to Australia to commence operations at Naval Air Station Nowra, New South Wales, late in 2014,” said Commander Frost.
Naval Today Staff, January 27, 2014; Image: RAN