Lockheed Martin handed over the 24th and final MH-60R Seahawk for the Royal Australian Navy on July 27.
Seahawk ‘Romeo’ N48-024 was delivered to the US Navy, which is managing the Foreign Military Sales (FMS) acquisition for the RAN, during an official ceremony at Lockheed Martin’s Owego, New York facility attended by officials from the Naval Air Systems Command (NAVAIR), the RAN and the Australian Embassy, as well as representatives from Sikorsky and Lockheed Martin.
“In late 2010, the Australian Government had not yet made a decision to acquire the Romeo, and yet here we are in mid-2016 accepting the 24th, and final, aircraft,” said Commodore Scott Lockey, Director General Navy Aviation Systems.
“The Royal Australian Navy has formed the first three embarked flights, conducted the first Hellfire missile shoot and conducted a highly successful ‘DIPEX’ against a Collins class submarine. None of this would have been possible without the professional work conducted by everyone at Lockheed Martin involved in the Romeo program.
“The work done here at Owego has been of the highest quality and directly contributed to the most successful helicopter acquisition program undertaken by the Australian Defence Force.”
Delivered on budget and ahead of schedule, N48-024’s formal delivery concludes the first MH-60R international sale.
The ADF selected the Romeo as its multi-role naval combat helicopter in June 2011 and saw its first MH-60R Seahawk roll off a RAAF C-17 on delivery to HMAS Abatross, Nowra in mid-October 2014.
“Although today is significant in marking the last Seahawk delivery to the Royal Australian Navy, it also signifies a great opportunity to continue and grow our collaboration in advanced maritime operations,” said Captain Craig Grubb, the US Navy’s H-60 Multi-Mission Helicopter program manager.
“I’m proud of the team’s accomplishments and look forward to our continued partnership with the RAN.”
N48-024 is anticipated to arrive at Nowra during August.