The first of 24 new Sikorsky MH-60R anti-submarine and anti-surface warfare helicopters was produced ahead of schedule to the Royal Australian Navy. The aircraft was rolled out on June 30, at Sikorsky’s Stratford plant in Connecticut, USA.
On July 24 the RAN’s new MH-60R (Romeo) arrived at Lockheed Martin Mission Systems & Training location in Owego, New York, for the second phase of aircraft completion — installation of the digital cockpit and integrated mission systems and sensors.
Sikorsky has three additional MH-60R aircraft for the Royal Australian Navy in various stages of assembly at its Seahawk production line in Stratford. Those aircraft will be handed over in August and September 2013 for completion by Lockheed Martin in early 2014. Australia’s Defence Materiel Organisation (DMO) is expected to take delivery of all 24 completed MH-60R aircraft by late 2016.
The Australian Defence Force currently operates 16 S-70B-2 Seahawk helicopters acquired in the 1980s, roughly the same type of helicopter as the new MH-60s. The first Australian MH-60R helicopter is the 168th Romeo model produced by Sikorsky since deliveries to the US Navy began in 2006.