MH-60R Romeo Seahawk technical review world’s most advanced maritime helicopter

Technical review and analysis of Sikorsky MH-60R naval helicopter by Navy Recognition editorial team. The MH-60R Romeo also nicknamed Seahawk is a maritime helicopter using technologies of the SH-60B and SH-60F, a twin turboshaft engine, multi-mission helicopter based on the United States Army UH-60 Black Hawk and a member of the Sikorsky S-70 family. It is the most capable naval helicopter available today designed to operate from frigates, destroyers, cruisers and aircraft carriers.
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MH 60R Romeo Seahawk world most advanced maritime helicopter technical review 925 001 U.S. sailors assigned to the guided-missile destroyer USS Truxtun (DDG 103) conduct a simulated vertical replenishment with an MH-60R Sea Hawk helicopter attached to the Swamp Foxes of Helicopter Maritime Strike Squadron (HSM) 74, April 28, 2020. (Picture source U.S. Navy)

The U.S. Navy was the first to adopt the MH-60R maritime helicopter in 2006. Since then, the Navy’s fleet has grown to 289 MH-60Rs that complete missions like search for enemy submarines, conduct daring at-sea rescues and engage undersea threats.

Australia received its first MH-60R in 2013, and since then it’s expanded to 24 helicopters. Primarily, MH-60R serves as its next-generation submarine hunter and anti-surface warfare helicopter. Denmark became the third country to operate the MH-60R after Australia, receiving its first aircraft of nine in 2016.

Saudi Arabia was the latest nation to join the MH-60R family. With its first delivery in 2018, the Royal Saudi Navy will receive 10 MH-60R helicopters in total. In February 2020, India and the US have signed a deal for the procurement of MH-60R Seahawk multi-mission helicopters for the Indian Navy. The MH-60R is known as “the world’s most advanced maritime helicopter.” And for good reason – there’s already more than 300 of them operating worldwide.

The MH-60R Seahawk is the next generation of submarine hunters and anti-surface warfare helicopters. It is equipped with a highly sophisticated combat system designed to employ Hellfire air-to-surface missiles and the Mark 54 anti-submarine torpedo. The primary missions of the 'Romeo' helicopter are anti-submarine warfare and anti-surface warfare. Secondary missions include search and rescue, logistics support, personnel transport, and medical evacuation.

MH 60R Romeo Seahawk world most advanced maritime helicopter technical review 925 002
U.S. sailors assigned to the Guardians of Helicopter Maritime Strike Squadron (HSM) 48 embarked aboard the guided-missile cruiser USS Vella Gulf (CG 72) attach a Hellfire missile to an MH-60R Sea Hawk helicopter, March 17, 2020. (Picture source U.S. Navy)

The MH-60R avionics includes dual controls and instead of the complex array of dials and gauges in Bravo and Foxtrot aircraft, 4 fully integrated 8" x 10" night vision goggle-compatible and sunlight-readable color multi-function displays, all part of glass cockpit produced by Owego Helo Systems division of Lockheed Martin.

The Lockheed Martin Common Cockpit™ enables MH-60R and MH-60S aircrews to perform diverse missions, including anti-submarine warfare, anti-surface warfare, combat search and rescue, vertical replenishment, and airborne mine countermeasures.

Onboard sensors include: AN/AAR-47 Missile Approach Warning System by ATK, Raytheon AN/AAS-44 electro-optical system that integrates FLIR and laser rangefinder AN/ALE-39 decoy dispenser and AN/ALQ-144 infrared jammer by BAE Systems, AN/ALQ-210 electronic support measures system by Lockheed Martin, AN/APS-147 multi-mode radar/IFF interrogator, which during a mid-life technology insertion project is subsequently replaced by AN/APS-153 Multi-Mode Radar with Automatic Radar Periscope Detection and Discrimination (ARPDD) capability, and both radars were developed by Telephonics, a more advanced AN/AQS-22 advanced airborne low-frequency sonar (ALFS) jointly developed by Raytheon & Thales, AN/ARC-210 voice radio by Rockwell Collins, an advanced airborne fleet data link AN/SRQ-4 Hawklink with radio terminal set AN/ARQ-59 radio terminal, both by L3Harris, and LN-100G dual-embedded global positioning system and inertial navigation system by Northrop Grumman Litton division.

For naval combat missions, the MH_60R can be armed with AGM-114 Hellfire air-to-surface missiles to perform anti-surface warfare missions. It can be also armed with ATK mk50 or mk46 active/passive lightweight torpedoes to conduct anti-submarine warfare. Fort its self-defense, the MH-60R is equipped with pintle-mounted 7.62mm machine gun.

MH-60R helicopter is powered by two General Electric T700-GE-401C turboshaft engines rated at 1,425kW. It has a maximum and cruise speed of 267 km/h and 168 km/h respectively, with a maximum flying range of 834 km. It weighs around 6,895 kg and has a maximum take-off weight of 10,659 kg.