Asia's Only Integrated Showcase for Mobility Innovation Across Air, Land and Sea > MobilityNews > Lockheed Martin to expand sustainment of Australian MH-60Rs

Lockheed Martin to expand sustainment of Australian MH-60Rs

Lockheed Martin to expand sustainment of Australian MH-60Rs


RAN MH-60R - small.JPG
Gordon Arthur RAN MH-60R - Lockheed Martin will continue to sustain and support Australia’s growing fleet of MH-60R naval helicopters. 

On 19 October, the State Department announced that the US government had approved Sikorsky MH-60R sustainment services and items for the Royal Australian Navy (RAN).

This Foreign Military Sale (FMS) determination possesses a value of $162 million.

Australia already possessed a previously implemented sustainment case worth $89.8 million, but this latest approval expands coverage since the RAN will be receiving 13 new MH-60R helicopters. 

The Defense Security Cooperation Agency stated: ‘The proposed sale will continue Australia’s capability to interoperate with US forces by maintaining alignment with the US Navy’s MH-60R programme, and maintain mission readiness to deter regional threats and strengthen its homeland defence.’

Lockheed Martin will be the principal contractor.

Under the RAN’s Project Sea 9100 Phase 1, it was announced on 20 September that Sikorsky had received an FMS contract for 12 extra MH-60Rs. The contract was awarded via the USN, after the $985 million case was approved by the US in October 2021.

Delivery of the dozen MH-60Rs should occur from May 2025 through to August 2026.

Hamid Salim, Sikorsky Maritime & Mission Systems VP, said: ‘Ongoing and planned upgrades to MH-60R through partnership with the US Navy, RAN, international partners and industry will ensure the aircraft’s reliability and mission effectiveness against emerging threats for decades to come.’

These additional MH-60Rs will permit a third Australian squadron to be established, joining the existing No 725 and No 816 Squadrons at HMAS Albatross in Nowra. Some A$360 million ($226 million) will be spent to upgrade the Nowra base too.

These two squadrons have achieved more than 30,000 flight hours with their 24 MH-60Rs that were acquired from 2013-16. One aircraft crashed in the Philippine Sea in October 2021, and Sikorsky is awaiting a contract for a solitary helicopter to replace that one.

RAdm Peter Quinn, Australia’s Navy Capability head, commented: ‘The versatility of MH-60R to conduct a wide range of missions, combined with world-class support provided by our partners, was a significant factor in the decision by the RAN to make an additional investment in MH-60R under the Sea 9100 Phase 1 programme.’

Sikorsky Australia performs comprehensive deep maintenance services and intermediate-level maintenance support for the MH-60R fleet. The company employs 250 in Australia, of which 195 are based at Nowra, and it expects that 90 personnel would be recruited to support the additional Romeos.

By: Gordon Arthur / Christchurch
Article | Shephard Media