24 new MH-60R Seahawk ‘Romeo’ naval combat helicopters for Royal Australian Navy

Discussion in 'Indo Pacific & East Asia' started by Someoneforyou, Jun 18, 2011.

  1. Someoneforyou

    Someoneforyou Regular Member

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    New Naval Combat Helicopters
    AUSTRALIA - 16 JUNE 2011

    Minister for Defence Stephen Smith and Minister for Defence Materiel Jason Clare today announced that the Australian Government had approved the acquisition of 24 MH-60R Seahawk ‘Romeo’ naval combat helicopters at a cost of over A$3Bn .

    The 2009 Defence White Paper committed the Government to equipping naval warships with a new combat helicopter capable of conducting a range of maritime misions with advanced anti-submarine warfare capabilities and the ability to fire air-to-surface missiles.

    This announcement delivers on that commitment.

    The new helicopters will replace the Navy’s current combat helicopter capability provided by 16 Seahawk S-70B-2 helicopters and will also provide the air to surface strike capability which was to have been provided by the cancelled Seasprite program.

    This decision follows a 15-month competitive acquisition process involving the Sikorsky-Lockheed Martin built MH-60R and the NATO Helicopter Industries NH90 NFH assembled by Australian Aerospace.

    This competitive process has ensured value for money for the tax payer.

    The Australian Government has chosen the ‘Romeo’ helicopter because it represents the best value for money for taxpayers and was the lowest risk option.

    The ‘Romeo’ is a proven capability currently operated by the United States Navy. The United States Navy has accepted around 100 ‘Romeos’ which have accumulated 90,000 flying hours, including on operational deployments.

    Interoperability with Australia’s Alliance partner, the United States, is also a significant advantage of this helicopter.

    The helicopters are largely military off-the-shelf built by Sikorsky and Lockheed Martin and will be purchased through the Foreign Military Sales process from the US Navy.

    Defence has signed a Letter of Agreement for the acquisition with the United States Government.

    The first two helicopters will arrive in mid-2014 for testing and evaluation with operations expected to commence in mid-2015.

    Acquisition of 24 ‘Romeos’ means that Navy will have the capacity to provide at least eight warships with a combat helicopter at the same time, including ANZAC Class frigates and the new Air Warfare Destroyers. The remainder will be based at HMAS Albatross in Nowra, New South Wales, and will be in various stages of the regular maintenance and training cycle.

    They will be equipped with a highly sophisticated combat systems designed to employ Hellfire air-to-surface missile and the Mark 54 anti-submarine torpedo.

    The Government will work with Australian Small-to-Medium Enterprises to identify opportunities to form part of the ‘Romeo’ global supply chain.

    The Government has established a joint working group between Defence and the Department of Innovation, Industry, Science and Research to progress Australian industry involvement in the project.


    After a 15-month evaluation, Australia has ordered 24 Sikorsky MH-60R naval helicopters; deliveries are due to begin in mid-2014
    [​IMG]


    Source: Australian Department of Defence
     
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  3. Someoneforyou

    Someoneforyou Regular Member

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    MH-60R multi-mission helicopter

    Operational and deployed today with the U.S. Navy as the primary anti-submarine warfare anti-surface weapon system for open ocean and littoral zones, the MH-60R SEAHAWK® helicopter is the world’s most advanced maritime helicopter. It is the most capable naval helicopter available today designed to operate from frigates, destroyers, cruisers and aircraft carriers.

    Also known as the ‘Romeo’, The MH-60R multi-mission helicopter combines the capabilities of the Navy’s legacy SH-60B and SH-60F helicopters into a single sensor-rich platform operated by a three-person crew. Secondary missions include search and rescue, vertical replenishment, naval surface fire support, medical evacuation, and communications and data relay.

    The MH-60R elevates tactical maritime mission capability to a new level by building on decades of proven partnership performance between Lockheed Martin’s Mission Systems and Sensors business and Sikorsky Aircraft Corp.

    With more than 38 years of mission system integration experience, and as the prime systems integrator for the MH-60R, Lockheed Martin has integrated a variety of mission systems to provide the aircrew, and the battle group via data link, an accurate and real-time situational picture of the surface and subsurface domains. Mission computers apply smart automation to process the sensor data into actionable knowledge, prioritize threats for the crew to act on, and reduce workload.

    The weapon system can operate independently to detect, locate, identify, track and prosecute targets. But it fights most effectively when sharing situational awareness with the host ship and other forces. As a key node on the network, the MH-60R can collect and stream situational awareness data to the host ship via C-band data link (Ku-band by 2012), and can collaborate with air assets via Link 16.

    The MH-60R became operational in late 2005 following 1900 hours of rigorous flight and mission systems evaluations by U.S. Navy test squadrons. The aircraft deployed for the first time in January 2009 with the John C. Stennis (CVN 74) carrier strike group. During exercises in the western Pacific, the aircraft achieved a 95 percent sortie completion rate.

    For more than 10 years, the Navy has invested U.S. $1 billion to develop the MH-60R airframe and its heavily integrated mission systems, and is also implementing an existing technology roadmap to continue adding new capabilities to the platform as they become mature.

    The MH-60R is in full rate production with aircraft manufacturer Sikorsky and mission systems integrator Lockheed Martin. In September 2010, Lockheed Martin delivered the 74th fully-integrated aircraft to the Navy. To date, the Navy has established five of 20 MH-60R squadrons, with plans to purchase 300 aircraft.


    MH-60R Enhanced Multi-Mission Sensor Systems:

    • New APS-147 multi-mode radar with long/short range search Inverse
    Synthetic Aperture Radar (ISAR) imaging and periscope detection modes.

    • Integrated AQS-22 Airborne Low Frequency Sonar (ALFS) with expanded
    littoral and deep-water capability, including concurrent dipping sonar and
    sonobuoy processing capability.

    • New commercial-off-the-shelf (COTS) based mission and flight
    management computers.

    • The latest full color, night vision capable, sunlight-readable glass cockpit
    common with USN MH-60S helicopters.

    • New ALQ-210 Electronic Support Measures (ESM) system for passive
    detection, location and identification of emitters.

    • Sensor data fused into actionable information provides threat assessment
    and superior situational awareness of the digital battlefield.

    • Integrated AAS-44 Forward-Looking Infrared (FLIR) system for expanded
    night vision and HELLFIRE targeting capability.

    • Integrated Self Defense (ISD) system providing Chaff and Flare
    countermeasures, and self-protection or RF, IF and Laser threats.

    • Hawklink wideband connectivity to the host ship, Link 16 tactical radio,
    provide greater mission visibility to the Battle Group commander.


    [​IMG]

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    Source: Lockheed Martin
     
    Last edited: Jun 18, 2011
  4. Someoneforyou

    Someoneforyou Regular Member

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  5. Someoneforyou

    Someoneforyou Regular Member

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