Spain seeks more Seahawk helicopters

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The Spanish navy could be set to expand its helicopter inventory, with Madrid having requested the possible acquisition and refurbishment of six ex-US Navy Sikorsky SH-60F Seahawks.

Twelve B-model Seahawks are already in Spanish navy use (one pictured below), following two previous deals with Washington. The first six were delivered in 1988, with the remainder introduced in 2002-3, Flightglobal's HeliCAS database says.

 
© Spanish navy

The US Defense Security Cooperation Agency has notified Congress of a possible $155 million deal to sell Spain six SH-60Fs listed as excess defence articles. These would be refurbished under the proposed contract, which also covers logistics support services.

According to the DSCA, the sale would "modernise the Spanish navy's overwater search and rescue capability and enable continued interoperability with US armed forces and other coalition partners in the region".

Powered by General Electric T700-401C engines, the Seahawks would also be capable of performing medical evacuation, humanitarian relief and anti-piracy duties, the DSCA says.

The Spanish navy's rotorcraft inventory also includes 11 Sikorsky SH/ASH-3H Sea Kings, 10 Agusta-Bell AB212s and six MD Helicopters MD500s, HeliCAS says.

Helicopters page image © US Navy