After receiving the 11th Sikorsky MH-60R (Romeo) Seahawk the Royal Australian Navy commissioned a new unit this week: 725 Squadron officially stood up on Naval Air Station Albatross in Nowra on 11 June 2015.
“This is an important milestone for the Navy and marks the formal induction of the squadron and aircraft into the fleet,” a statement reads. Australia choose the newest version of the popular US made helicopter as its next-generation submarine hunter and anti-surface warfare helicopters. Twenty-four machines were purchased for about 3.2 billion dollars, with both the delivery schedule and the budget holding up so far. The Seahawk Romeo helicopters have already been involved in flight trials and hope to receive so-called Initial Operating Capability in August.
The new 725 Squadron actually has a long history, having been formed and decommssioned three times earlier. The first time the unit was activated was in 1943, in 1959 it commenced anti-submarine training, a task it will now also undertake with the Romeo Seahawks.
Source: Minister for Defence, Commonwealth of Australia
Featured image: One of the new Australian MH-60Rs on flight trials off the coast of Jacksonville, Florida, on 13 May 2014. (Image © LS Eammon o’Brien / © Commonwealth of Australia)