Delivery of the first Danish MH-60R Sea Hawk moved closer on Thursday 22 October, as the aircraft was handed over to the US Navy at the Lockheed Martin facility in Owego, New York. Denmark in 2012 announced it acquired a total of nine MH-60R aircraft to conduct missions such as surveillance, search and rescue, anti-piracy and anti-surface warfare.
Prior to being delivered to the Royal Danish Air Force, the helicopter enters a series of tests with the US Navy to validate Danish configuration modifications. The first aircraft will be delivered to Denmark in the second quarter of 2016, and the full fleet will be delivered by 2018.
Denmark is the second international partner in the MH-60R program, following the Royal Australian Navy. To date, Lockheed Martin has delivered a total of 14 of 24 Australian aircraft ahead of schedule. The remaining 10 aircraft will be delivered in 2016.
As we at Airheadsfly.com reported earlier, Lockheed Martin is buying Sikorsky Aircraft. The biggest weapons manufacturer of the world – in sales – will thereby be the new daddy of the famous Black Hawk helicopter, the big CH-53 and the fast future combat helicopter of the future, the S-97 Raider – plus offshore rotary business and the Sikorsky daughter company Schweizer.
Lockheed Martin pays 9 billion dollar for the deal, to the company that was Sikorsky’s parent for 85 years: United Technologies Corporation. US Federal authorities will have to approve of the deal, safeguarding that it doesn’t collide with monopoly regulations.
If approved the transition of Sikorsky into Lockheed Martin will be done by the end of 2015 or the beginning of 2016. “The Corporation plans to align Sikorsky under the Lockheed Martin Mission Systems and Training business segment. MST and Stratford, Connecticut, based Sikorsky currently partner on a number of critical programs, including the VH-92 Presidential Helicopter, Combat Rescue Helicopter and the Naval MH-60 Helicopter,” Lockheed Martin writes in its statement.
With the acquisition of Sikorsky by Lockheed Martin the end of the company founded in 1923 is there, as Lockheed Martin will likely release the Sikorsky helicopters of the future under its own name – the way Boeing did when it acquired McDonnell Douglas and the way McDonnell Douglas did when it bought Hughes.
Sikorsky produced the world’s first single main rotor helicopter, the VS-300, and was the force behind the XR-4 that became the first helicopter to fly cross-country across the USA. The Sikorsky S-58 became the first helicopter to retrieve a US astronaut, commander Alan Shepherd, in 1961.
The most numerous Sikorsky helicopter flying around at the moment is the Black Hawk and its derivatives like the Sea Hawk. With its first flight on 17 October 1974 more than 4,000 UH-60s and likes have been produced so far – with the military of 24 nations relying on these work horses.