The first of the Royal Australian Navy’s 24 MH-60R Seahawk ‘Romeo’ combat helicopters arrived at HMAS Albatross, Nowra, earlier this week.
The first Romeo and a non-flying MH-60R ‘Bromeo’ maintenance training aid airframe, which will be used to train aircrew and maintainers, were transported aboard a Royal Australian Air Force C-17A Globemaster from NAS Jacksonville, Florida, where they had been operated by NUSQN 725.
Commander Fleet Air Arm Commodore Vince Di Pietro was on hand to inspect the Romeo, one of 24 on order to be operated by 725 and 816 Squadrons from Albatross.
“We’ve come a long way and here we are, the first one home in Australia; it is an exciting day,” he told Fairfax Media on Tuesday.
The first Romeo is expected to be back in the air by November. It will be fitted with flight test instrumentation to commence first-of-type flight trials with the RAN’s Anzac class frigates.
NUSQN 725 – which will commission as 725SQN in 2015 – has been operating the Romeo from Jacksonville since January. All five of its Romeos and 122 personnel are expected to be back in Nowra by Christmas.
A profile on NUSQN 725 will appear in the November issue of Australian Aviation.