Royal Australian Navy has ordered 12 more MH-60R Romeo helicopters to raise another squadron of these lethal helicopters. These helicopters are procured via the U.S. Government’s Foreign Military Sales agreement. “As part of the Australian Government’s Project SEA 9100 Phase 1 (Improved Embarked Logistics Support Helicopter Capability), the 12 new MH-60R aircraft will create a common fleet of maritime helicopters supporting all of the RAN’s air capable platforms”, Lockheed Martin’s press release said.
Currently, the Royal Australian navy operates a total of 23 MH-60R helicopters in two squadrons, namely 816 and 705 naval aviation squadrons. The MH-60R is outfitted with a highly advanced combat system built to use Mark 54 anti-submarine torpedoes and Hellfire air-to-surface missiles.
These helicopters are assigned with the primary role of anti-submarine and anti-surface operations. These helicopters can also be deployed for several other tasks including Search and rescue, logistical support, and medical evacuation. Royal Australian Navy was the first navy, other than US Navy, to procure MH-60R helicopters from 2013-2016. One such helicopter was lost on 14th October 2021, when an MH-60R helicopter crashed over the Philippine Sea while conducting routine missions.
“The additional 12 MH-60R SEAHAWK aircraft is a testament to the Royal Australian Navy’s commitment to providing their service men and women the right aircraft for their mission needs,” said Capt. Todd Evans, U.S. Navy H-60 multi-mission helicopters program manager. “Built upon a decade of partnership with the United States Navy and Lockheed Martin, the MH-60R ‘Romeo’ multi-mission helicopter provides the Royal Australian Navy with an unparalleled maritime aviation platform,” said Rear Adm. Peter Quinn, Head Navy Capability for the Royal Australian Navy. “
Umair Aslam is the Founder and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Global Defense Insight. He has worked as a defense journalist reporting on military modernization programs, nuclear non-proliferation, arms control, and the South Asian Arms race.