Prime Minister Scott Morrison was at HMAS Albatross, Nowra, NSW, yesterday to announce the purchase of 13 new MH-60R Seahawk helicopters for the Royal Australian Navy.
FILE PHOTO: A single MH-60 Romeo helicopter (photo digitally altered) conducts a running takeoff during first-of-class flight trials onboard HMAS Adelaide. Photo by Able Seaman Jarrod Mulvahill.
Lockheed Martin Australia welcomed the announcement of the MH-60R helicopter fleet expansion.
Through this acquisition, the Royal Australian Navy will acquire 13 additional MH-60Rs from the United States Navy – one to replace an aircraft lost in a crash near the Philippines last year and 12 to increase the rotary wing fleet to 36 (replacing MRH90).
Lockheed Martin Australia CEO Warren McDonald welcomed the AU$2.5billion announcement of the maritime-helicopter capability expansion.
“This additional growth further enhances the Royal Australian Navy’s rotary-wing capability and increases operational flexibility to transition from anti-submarine and anti-surface warfare to maritime utility and support missions using the multi-role capability of the MH-60R Seahawk,” Mr McDonald said.
“The expanded MH-60R Seahawk fleet provides strong economic opportunities for Australian industry that will generate more employment, supply chain spending, and partnerships with small to medium enterprises in the Shoalhaven region.
“Our Sikorsky Australia team has an exceptional track record as a trusted partner to the Royal Australian Navy in sustaining this critical capability with excellence.
“We welcome the opportunity to expand on this mission to protect Australia’s national interests.”
Lockheed Martin’s company, Sikorsky Australia, is the RAN’s industry partner for delivering deep- and intermediate-level maintenance maintenance services for the MH-60R Seahawk.
For over 30 years, Sikorsky Australia has sustained the RAN’s Seahawks and the Australian Army’s Black Hawk helicopters, with a team that has grown to 250, including 195 skilled aviation engineers, technicians, and training and logistics employees based at the Nowra headquarters.