The Taiwanese Navy is planning to purchase 8 to 10 MH-60R Seahawk anti-submarine warfare (ASW) helicopters to replace the aging fleet of eight MD500 Defenders used in the ASW mission role.
The country is seeking to modernizing thier rotor craft profile. Moreover, defenders are now too out-dated to be of much effectiveness, Forecast International reported Monday.
The acquisition will be pursued by the US foreign military sales (FMS) program. An announcement is expected prior to year-end with a potential letter-of-acceptance (LoA) aimed at for 2016.
This would allow Taiwan's Defense Ministry to begin the process of retiring the MD500 fleet and budgeting for their replacement.
The estimated cost of an MH-60R Seahawk buy ranges from $700-800 million. It is a not-insignificant figure considering the condition of Taiwan's yearly defense budgets and the rising percentage of these annual earmarks allocated towards personnel expenditures.