Seoul gears up to launch naval helicopter contest

Seoul
Source:
This story is sourced from Flight International
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The Lockheed Martin/Sikorsky MH-60R naval combat helicopter made its debut at the Seoul air show, amid expectations of a request for proposals for new maritime helicopters.

AgustaWestland also held a media briefing for its AW159 Lynx Wildcat multi-role maritime helicopter. The Republic of Korea Navy operates an earlier version of the Lynx, and AgustaWestland said the AW159 would be a good fit as it can use the same shipboard facilities. The new model's advantages include a maximum take-off weight of 6,000kg (13,200lb) compared with 5,530kg, and a 12,000h airtime fatigue rate, compared with 7,000h.

The MH-60R was dispatched to the air show from the US Navy destroyer the USS Pinckney.

AgustaWestland said Seoul will initially require eight shipborne helicopters, with a request for proposals expected early in 2012 and a contract award by the end of the same year. Seoul may ultimately require up to 40 maritime helicopters in the 6t class.