The German Ministry of Defence is expected to continue with its effort to replace the navy's ageing Westland Mk 88A Sea Lynx anti-submarine warfare/anti-surface warfare (ASW/ASuW) helicopters, an industry official told Jane's on 27 November.
Speaking at the Berlin Security Conference, Dan Bedoya from Sikorsky said that a competitive acquisition document for between 24 and 30 new ASW helicopters is expected to be released by the Bundeswehr "in the near future".
"An AWE [Auswahlentscheidung: selection decision document] is due in the first quarter of 2019," he noted.
The German Navy has 21 Sea Lynx helicopters that it is looking to begin replacing from about 2023. Sikorsky's parent company, Lockheed Martin, is pitching the MH-60R Seahawk, while Airbus is proposing the Sea Lion variant of the NHIndustries NH90 NATO Frigate Helicopter (NFH) and Leonardo the AgustaWestland AW159 Lynx Wildcat.
Bedoya's comments come weeks after Lockheed Martin announced it was teaming with Rheinmetall in its bid, with the two companies signing a letter of intent (LOI) in early October. While the details of the Lockheed Martin/Rheinmetall bid have not been disclosed, the MH-60R is equipped with the Thales/Raytheon AQS-22 Airborne Low-Frequency Sonar (ALFS) and previous Foreign Military Sales of the type have included torpedoes, 12.7 mm GAU-21 (M3M) and 7.62 mm M240 (FN MAG) machine guns, AGM-114 Hellfire laser-guided missiles, and 70 mm rockets that have been upgraded with BAE's Advanced Precision Kill Weapon System laser guidance kit.
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