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Australia loses MH-60R helicopter in Philippine Sea mishap

An Australian MH-60R helicopter seen with an Mk 54 torpedo during a firing serial in Florida. (Royal Australian Navy)

The Royal Australian Navy (RAN) has lost one of its MH-60R Seahawk helicopters in a mishap over the Philippine Sea.

The helicopter was conducting a “routine flight overnight” from the Hobart-class air warfare destroyer HMAS Brisbane at the time of the incident, the Australian Department of Defence (DoD) announced on 14 October.

Brisbane is on a regional deployment with the Anzac-class frigate HMAS Warramunga .

The helicopter conducted an emergency landing in the water in the midst of this operation, and all three crew members onboard the aircraft have been rescued with minor injuries.

Brisbane and Warramunga are continuing to search the area for any debris from the ditched aircraft, which will aid in determining the cause of the incident, said the DoD.

“With the aircrew safe, investigating the circumstances that led to the helicopter-ditching is the priority at the moment,” said Commander of the Australian Fleet, Rear Admiral Mark Hammond, in the DoD announcement.

“As a precaution, we have temporarily paused flying operations of the MH-60R Seahawk fleet,” the rear admiral added.

The DoD is also reviewing the effect of the incident on Brisbane 's and Warramunga 's current deployment.

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