Denmark falls for Romeo

AgustaWestland suffered a Danish tragedy on 21 November, when the nation’s defence ministry confirmed the selection of the rival Sikorsky/Lockheed Martin MH-60R Seahawk (US Navy image below) to meet its future shipborne helicopter requirements.

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Nine “Romeos” will be delivered between 2016 and 2018 under the deal, which still requires the final go-ahead from Denmark’s finance ministry. The US Navy type was the armed forces’ preferred choice, according to chief of defence Peter Bartram.

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As the incumbent supplier (the Royal Danish Air Force still flies seven Lynx 90Bs), AgustaWestland had been hoping to score its first export success with the AW159 Lynx Wildcat (Crown Copyright image above). It also has previously supplied the service with 12 AW101s for search and rescue and tactical transport tasks; this wasn’t one of the smoothest type introductions out there, so perhaps may have been a partial factor in Copenhagen’s decision?

Or, to lift a line from William Shakespeare’s Denmark-located ‘Hamlet’, maybe this was an instance of “More matter with less art”?

Either way, it’s good news for the Sikorsky/Lockheed team, which has already landed a 24-aircraft first international deal to supply MH-60Rs to Australia.


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