Lockheed Martin has delivered the 24th, and final, MH-60R Seahawk helicopter to the Royal Australian Navy Monday.
The company and the US Navy have handed over with a ribbon-cutting ceremony at Lockheed Martin’s purpose-built logistics and maintenance facility in Nowra which will house and maintain the new fleet.
The new facility encompasses two buildings — a Maintenance Repair and Overhaul base, and a Logistic Center warehouse that will provide Through Life Support logistics services for the Royal Australian Navy’s new fleet of 24 MH-60R Seahawk helicopters. Based in Nowra on the New South Wales south coast, the 8,300 square meter facility will house Sikorsky’s Australia-based, Helitech, Lockheed Martin and the US Navy.
Australia chose the MH-60R “Romeo” Seahawk in June 2011 to fulfill the Australian Defence Force’s requirement for a fleet of 24 new-generation, multi-role naval combat aircraft. The program has run on time and on budget with all 24 MH-60 Romeos now delivered to the Royal Australian Navy – a feat which saw the program win Australia’s Capability Acquisition and Sustainment Group “Project of the Year” award in 2015.
Besides the MH-60R helicopter’s primary mission areas of anti-submarine and anti-surface warfare, it also has the capability for secondary missions including search and rescue, vertical replenishment, naval surface fire support, logistics support, personnel transport, medical evacuation, and VHF/UHF/link communication relay. The new MH-60R helicopters are currently replacing the RAN’s existing fleet of S-70B-2 Seahawk helicopters.
Lockheed Martin and Sikorsky support the RAN fleet through the Maritime Helicopter Support Company, which provides Through Life Support logistics services to sustain peak flight readiness for the RAN Seahawk helicopters during the fleet’s estimated 30-year lifespan.
The ceremony was attended by representatives from Lockheed Martin, the Australian Chief of Navy, Vice Admiral Tim Barrett, as well as officials from the New South Wales State Government, the Royal Australian Navy and the US Navy.