Construction of new hangar and support facilities for the Navy’s forthcoming MH-60R ‘Romeo’ Seahawk helicopters at HMAS Albatross, Nowra has commenced with a ceremonial sod turning by Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister for Defence Darren Chester, Chief of Navy Vice Admiral Ray Griggs and Colonel Noel Beutel, acting Director General Capital Facility and Infrastructure, earlier this week.
Defence says it is spending $189 million in capital costs to support the MH-60R at HMAS Albatross at Nowra, Two Fold Bay in Eden on the far south coast of NSW, and HMAS Stirling near Perth. Of that sum $138 million will be spent at Nowra, where the aircraft will he home based with 725 and 816SQNs.
“The ground we are about to disturb with silver shovel will have a training centre and operational squadron facility the likes of which does not exist elsewhere in the Australian Defence Force,” Commander Fleet Air Arm Commodore Vince Di Pietro said.
“Importantly, there will be many who will walk these corridors and hangars and hard standings whose parents have not yet met.”
Twenty-four MH-60Rs are being acquired under AIR 8000 Phase 8 to replace the Navy’s existing Seahawks and the capability lost with the cancellation of the Super Seasprite project.