Australia To Buy Torpedoes To Equip Recently Tested Seahawk Helicopters

  • Our Bureau
  • 01:15 PM, July 3, 2013
  • 2682

Australia to buy up to 100 MK 54 All-Up-Round Torpedoes from the U.S. at a cost of $83 million, the U.S. Defense Security Cooperation Agency announced yesterday.

The proposed sale, which includes the sale of 13 exercise (“dummy”) torpedo sections and their fuel tanks, five recoverable dummy torpedoes, and also support and test equipment, spare parts, technical data, training, and various support services, which will be provided by prime contractor Raytheon.

Australia intends to deploy the torpedoes aboard Sikorsky MH-60R Seahawk helicopters that it now owns, and also aboard Boeing P-8A subhunting aircraft that it is in the process of ordering.

In another announcement, the Australian Navy has successfully flight tested the first of 24 MH-60R ‘Seahawk Romeo’ naval helicopters at Sikorsky production facility on June 26, 2013.

During the 80 minute flight the helicopter successfully passed a range of tests including controllability, engine performance, vibration analysis and navigation as well as the ‘Contractor Flight Acceptance’ phase.

The 24 helicopters will replace 16 MH-60B Seahawk helicopters currently in service, expanding naval surface strike capability with will additional air-to-surface strike capability.

“This first flight occurred only two years after contract signature, some six months ahead of the original schedule approved by Government in 2011.” Minister for Defence Materiel Dr Mike Kelly said. “The Federal Government has invested over $3 billion in acquiring 24 MH-60R Seahawk Romeo helicopters, representing a sizeable commitment toward Australia’s ongoing air combat capability,” Commodore Vince Di Pietro, Commander of the Australian Navy’s Fleet Air Arm said.


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