skip to main content

Australia approved to buy further MH-60R helos

The Royal Australian Navy is to get 12 MH-60R Seahawk helicopters to add to the 24 that it already fields, and to replace its six MRH90s. (Commonwealth of Australia)

The US government has approved the follow-on sale of Lockheed Martin MH-60R Seahawk maritime helicopters to Australia.

The US Defense Security Cooperation Agency (DSCA) announced on 8 October that the State Department had given the green light to the prospective sale of 12 MH-60R anti-submarine warfare (ASW)/anti-surface vessel warfare (ASuW) helicopters for an estimated USD985 million. Further to the helicopters, the approval covers spares, mission equipment, weapons launchers (although not the weapons themselves), training, and support.

“This proposed sale will improve Australia's capability to perform anti-surface and anti-submarine warfare missions along with the ability to perform secondary missions including vertical replenishment, search and rescue, and communications relay,” the DSCA said.

The Royal Australian Navy (RAN) already fields the MH-60R, with 24 having been received from 2013. These are operated by 725 Squadron and 816 Squadron at Nowra, in New South Wales. The type was procured under Project AIR 9000 Phase 8, which sought to replace S‐70B‐2 Seahawks together with Kaman SH‐2G(A) Seasprites whose acquisition was cancelled in 2008. The MH‐60R first deployed on an Anzac‐class frigate in 2015, and completed landing helicopter dock (LHD) and FFG frigate sea trials in late 2016. By February 2019 the MH‐60R was qualified to operate from all RAN frigates, destroyers, and LHDs.

Looking to read the full article?

Gain unlimited access to Janes news and more...