MH-60R positions for potential Nordic maritime helicopter requirements

by Richard Scott

Lockheed Martin has to date delivered over 300 MH-60R helicopters worldwide. (US Navy)

With nine aircraft already in Danish service, Lockheed Martin's Sikorsky helicopter business is eyeing new opportunities for the US Navy's (USN's) MH-60R ‘Romeo' maritime helicopter elsewhere in the Nordic region as disaffected NH90 customers explore potential alternatives.

Norway in June 2022 announced its decision to withdraw its NH90 fleet from navy and coastguard service, terminate its contract with NHIndustries, and seek a full refund estimated at around NOK5 billion (USD513 million). Meanwhile, Sweden has expressed its continued dissatisfaction with the performance of its NH90 (HKP 14) fleet, and expects to take a decision on its future rotorcraft plans before the end of 2022.

Lockheed Martin has to date delivered over 300 MH-60R helicopters. Alongside the USN, export orders have been concluded with Australia, Denmark, Greece, India, Saudi Arabia, and South Korea through the US Foreign Military Sales (FMS) programme. Speaking at the Farnborough airshow in July, Sikorsky's vice-president of army and air force programmes Nathalie Previte said the company was pursuing both repeat orders and new opportunities for the MH-60R through FMS sales.


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Babcock selected to deliver RN's new Ardent Wolf CESM suite

by Richard Scott

HMS Northumberland seen during Exercise ‘Cold Response' in March 2022. The new Ardent Wolf CESM capability will replace the current Hammerhead system on RN Type 23 frigates. (Royal Navy/Crown copyright)

UK engineering and services group Babcock has been contracted by the UK Ministry of Defence (MoD) to provide a new maritime communications electronic support measures (CESM) capability to replace the Hammerhead CESM suite fitted to Royal Navy (RN) Type 23 frigates.

The company announced on 6 October that the six-year programme would deliver, install, and support the new Ardent Wolf CESM capability on RN Type 23 ships. The contract – the value of which has not been disclosed – will involve equipment installation, repair and maintenance, system and design safety, contractor logistics support, training, and all updates.

Babcock has partnered with a specialist UK-based small and medium-sized enterprise (SME) to deliver Ardent Wolf. The SME concerned has not been identified but is understood to be an established supplier of signals intelligence/radio frequency monitoring equipment.


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US Coast Guard Cutter Healy reaches the North Pole

by Michael Fabey

US Coast Guard icebreaker Healy calls in Seward, Alaska, while embarking on North Pole deployment. (Janes/Michael Fabey)

The US Coast Guard (USCG) Cutter Healy (WAGB-20) reached the North Pole on 30 September after traversing the frozen Arctic Ocean, marking only the second time a US ship has reached the location unaccompanied, the USCG confirmed on 4 October.

Healy first accomplished that feat in 2015. This is the third time Healy has travelled to the North Pole since its commissioning in 1999.

The medium icebreaker and crew departed Dutch Harbor, Alaska, on 4 September, beginning their journey to reach latitude 90º N, USCG officials reported. The cutter and crew supported oceanographic research in collaboration with National Science Foundation-funded scientists throughout their transit to the North Pole.

The North Pole trek is part of a months-long, multimission deployment to conduct oceanographic research in the region. Healy departed its Seattle home port on 11 July and has 34 scientists and technicians from multiple universities and institutions aboard, and nearly 100 crew members.

During the cutter's first Arctic leg of the patrol throughout July and August, Healy


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Malaysian navy makes rare appeal for more funds in 2023 defence budget

by Ridzwan Rahmat

Malaysian defence budget from 2010 to 2030. (Janes)

The Royal Malaysian Navy (RMN) has issued rare appeals to the government for more funds to be made available under the country's 2023 national budget.

The appeals were detailed in two media releases issued by the Strategic Communications Divisions of the RMN's Western and Eastern armadas on 3 and 4 October, respectively.

“Three decades ago, the RMN proudly operated a total of 16 combatants with missile capabilities, but this number has reduced drastically today due to ageing equipment,” said the Western Armada in its 3 October media release. The armada also pointed out that the service last received a new surface combatant 25 years ago, in reference to its first Laksamana-class corvette.

A follow-on media release issued by the Eastern Armada on 4 October was more explicit in its appeal for more funds. “The Eastern Armada hopes that the government will give more consideration to the procurement and upgrade of military equipment in the national budget of 2023,” the statement reads.


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https://www.janes.com/defence-news/naval-weapons/latest/mh-60r-positions-for-potential-nordic-maritime-helicopter-requirements

With nine aircraft already in Danish service, Lockheed Martin's Sikorsky helicopter business is eyei...

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