Sikorsky expands MH-60R maintenance capabilities in Nowra

Sikorsky Australia has been selected by the United States Navy to provide additional support to the Royal Australian Navy’s fleet of MH-60R Romeo multi-mission helicopters.

FILE PHOTO (October 2020): Royal Australian Navy pilots Lieutenant Benjamin Flood and Lieutenant Commander Matthew Schroder at the controls of an 816SQN MH-60R helicopter on HMAS Ballarat. Photo by Leading Seaman Shane Cameron.

Sustainment for Australia’s fleet of 24 Romeo helicopters is delivered locally in Australia through a Foreign Military Sales (FMS) agreement with the United States Navy, which provides opportunities for Australian defence industry.

Sikorsky Australia is a wholly owned Lockheed Martin subsidiary.

The helicopters were first acquired from the US Navy through the FMS process and entered into service in 2013.

The contract will see the creation of 10 new positions in Sikorsky Australia’s purpose-built maintenance and logistics support facility in Nowra NSW.

Sikorsky Australia’s current through-life sustainment support services contract scope has been expanded to incorporate intermediate-level component maintenance on an additional 21 components onboard the MH-60R helicopter.

A Sikorsky Australia spokesperson said this work further assured the sovereign supply chain for the MH-60R, ensuring all repair work was performed in Australia by Australians.

“Sovereign sustainment has generated $64m of total economic impact in the local region, supported 510 jobs, including 261 external jobs through Sikorsky Australia’s supply chain and induced spending, 142 of which are in the Shoalhaven region where the MH-60R fleet is based.

“To date, Sikorsky Australia has completed more than 100,000 maintenance hours in sustaining the fleet of MH-60R helicopters, ensuring peak flight readiness for the duration of the fleet’s lifespan.

“The Sikorsky Australia team in partnership with the RAN’s Fleet Air Arm will continue to proudly work hand-in-hand to provide comprehensive through-life sustainment support to the MH-60R fleet when on base and on deployment.

“This includes maintenance, training, warehousing, supply support system and test equipment services.”

Business Development Manager, Rotary Wing, Lockheed Martin Australia, Blair Drinkwater said the scope to repair and maintain an additional 21 components in support of the MH-60R would mean 10 new positions added to the local workforce, providing new job opportunities for people seeking an exciting career in aircraft maintenance.

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Brian Hartigan

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