Royal Australian Navy chief Vice Admiral Tim Barrett accepted the last of Navy’s 24 MH-60R maritime combat helicopters during a ceremony at Lockheed-Martin’s Logistics and Maintenance Facility at Nowra’s Aviation Technology Park on September 12.
The Commonwealth of Australia chose the Romeo in June 2011 to fulfill the Australian Defence Force’s requirement for a fleet of new generation, multi-role naval combat aircraft.
In addition to the Romeo’s primary role of anti-submarine and anti surface warfare, it also has the capability for secondary missions including search and rescue, vertical replenishment, naval surface fire support, logistics support, personnel transport and medical evacuation.
The event included a ribbon cutting ceremony for the Logistics and Maintenance facility which support the new fleet. While Fleet Air Arm personnel will perform day-to-day operational maintenance on the Romeo fleet, Lockheed Martin and Sikorsky will support the RAN through the Maritime Helicopter Support Company (MHSCo), which provides through life support logistics which will sustain peak flight readiness for the Romeo helicopters during the fleet’s estimated 30-year lifespan.
Vice Admiral Barrett said the acceptance of the final aircraft marks a major milestone in the next phase of naval aviation.
“What is happening here at Nowra, and has been happening over the last couple of years, is a reflection of where our navy has to go. The Fleet Air Arm has been reinvigorated with new squadrons – 808 and 725, new equipment – the Romeo the MRH90 and future equipment such as the Helicopter Aircrew Training System which will arrive here shortly.”