The Sikorsky-Lockheed Martin MH-60R ‘Romeo’ has been selected ahead of the NH90 NFH to fulfill Defence’s Air 9000 Phase 8 requirement to replace the Navy’s current S-70B Seahawks and the capability gap left by the cancelled SH-2G(A) Seasprites, Defence Minister Stephen Smith announced today.
Twenty-four Romeos will be acquired under the $3 billion dollar program, for delivery over the 2014-2016 period.
“It’s a proven capability – it’s currently being used by the US Navy. It is the updated version of the Seahawk that we currently use which it is replacing,” Smith told reporters.
The new helicopters will operate from Anzac and upgraded FFG frigates, plus the forthcoming air warfare destroyers and LHDs. They will be based at Naval Air Station Nowra.