Taiwan's military is considering buying 10 MH-60R Seahawk anti-submarine warfare helicopters from the US to replace its aging fleet of MD500 helicopters.
After the Seahawks are added to Taiwan's fleet, they will join the Navy's S-70C helicopters in conducting anti-submarine warfare missions, China News Agency reported today.
The US helicopters are equipped for a range of missions, including anti-submarine warfare (ASW), anti-surface warfare (ASuW), search and rescue (SAR), naval gunfire support (NGFS), surveillance, communications relay, logistics support and personnel transfer and vertical replenishment (VERTREP).
For vertical replenishment missions, the helicopter is fitted with a 2,721.55kg (6,000lb) cargo hook. The anti-submarine warfare helicopter operates from frigates, destroyers, cruisers, amphibious ships and aircraft carriers and is suitable for intense littoral warfare operations for handling numerous contacts in confined spaces, and for open-water operations.
"The Navy's MD500 helicopters are very old," Deputy Defense Minister Adm. Chen Yung-kang said. As Taiwan is preparing to take delivery of two Perry-class guided missile frigates purchased from the US, it is necessary to acquire new aircraft to beef up the country's anti-submarine warfare capabilities, he added.