Australia requests the purchase of 12 US MH-60R Multi-Mission Naval Helicopters

According to information published by the United States Defense Security Cooperation Agency on October 8, 2021, the U.S. State Department has made a determination approving a possible Foreign Military Sale to the Government of Australia of 12 MH-60R Multi-Mission Naval Helicopters, Related Defense Services, and related equipment for an estimated cost of $985 million.
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Russian Vyborg Shipyard laid the Purga ice class coastguard ship of project 23550 925 001 U.S. Sailors signal an MH-60R Sea Hawk helicopter, attached to the Saberhawks of Helicopter Maritime Strike Squadron (HSM) 77, as it lands on the flight deck of aircraft carrier USS Ronald Reagan (CVN 76) in the Arabian Sea. (Picture source U.S. Navy)

The Government of Australia has requested to buy twelve (12) MH-60R Multi-Mission helicopters as well as associated spare parts, engines, communication systems, and weapons. The MH-60R Seahawk is a multi-mission naval helicopter manufactured by Sikorsky Aircraft.

This proposed sale will improve Australia’s capability to perform anti-surface and anti-submarine warfare missions along with the ability to perform secondary missions including vertical replenishment, search and rescue, and communications relay. Australia will use the enhanced capability as a deterrent to regional threats and to strengthen its homeland defense. Australia will have no difficulty absorbing this equipment into its armed forces.

The principal U.S. contractor will be Lockheed Martin Rotary and Mission Systems, Owego, NY. There are no known offset agreements proposed in connection with this potential sale.

The MH-60R is a naval version of the American-made UH-60 Black Hawk designed and manufactured by the Sikorsky company which is now part of Lockheed Martin.

The MH-60R can be armed can be equipped with a range of weapons on the four weapons stations, including Lockheed Martin AGM-114 Hellfire anti-surface missiles. For anti-submarine warfare, the MH-60R can carry up to three ATK mk50 or mk46 active/passive lightweight torpedoes. The side of the helicopter can be fitted with a pintle-mounted weapon station armed with a 7.62mm machine gun.

The MH-60R is powered by two General Electric T700-GE-401C turboshaft engines rated at 1,425kW. It can fly at a maximum speed of 267 km/h with a maximum cruising range of 834 km.