Romeo’s maintenance milestone worth a belated brag

Defence and Australian industry have marked the milestone of completing the 40th periodic deeper maintenance interval on Navy’s fleet of MH-60R Seahawk helicopters at the Sikorsky Australia facilities in Nowra, Lockheed Martin’s company.

CAPTION: A Royal Australian Navy MH-60R helicopter at Sikorsky Australia in Nowra, NSW. Story by Elyssa Comer. Photo by Leading Seaman Ryan Tascas.

The milestone was achieved on August 24 and is evidence of Australia’s world-class deeper maintenance capability supporting one of the world’s most formidable combat helicopters.

Commodore Darren Rae, Director General Navy Aviation, Aircrew Training and Commons, said the Foreign Military Sales arrangements with the United States Navy for the Romeo had been instrumental in the development of our sovereign defence industry capability.

“The Romeo program is an exemplar in demonstrating the opportunities that can be available to Australian industry through Foreign Military sales sustainment arrangements,” Commodore Rae said.

“This is, in part, credit to our partnership and strong mateship with the United States Navy, where we actively and continually seek out opportunities to develop sovereign capability to support this important operational helicopter for Navy.”

Lockheed Martin’s company, Sikorsky Australia, is the RAN’s industry partner for delivering comprehensive deep-maintenance services and intermediate level maintenance support for the MH-60R Seahawk.

Lockheed Martin Australia Chief Executive Warren McDonald said they were proud to support Australia’s MH-60R Seahawk.

“Over the past 30 years, we have steadily built a sovereign industrial base to support Defence,” he said.

A periodic maintenance interval is a two-part maintenance program carried out over a seven-year cycle, with each part involving intensive and highly skilled activity.

The first part of the cycle occurs at three and a half years and involves the assessment of condition, identification of wear and tear, corrosion and fatigue and repair to baseline condition. The second part is completed after a further three and a half years and involves a complete exterior paint strip and repaint.

“We employ more than 200 people at Sikorsky Australia. They carry out deep and intermediate level maintenance on the helicopter in our world-class facility in the Shoalhaven,” Mr McDonald said.

“Our engineers are honoured to work alongside Royal Australian Navy personnel to ensure their helicopter fleet is ready for operations. Completing the 40th PMI with Navy is a remarkable achievement and demonstrates the strength of Australia’s sovereign industrial capability, right here in the Shoalhaven.

“Our aim is to provide ongoing opportunities for the local supply chain and assist with upskilling the aerospace workforce, particularly through our apprenticeship and trainee programs.”





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