Lockheed Martin delivered the last of 24 Sikorsky MH-60R Seahawk helicopters to the US Navy on 27 July in support of a foreign military sale to the service’s Australian counterpart.
Dating from a 2011 order, the Romeo is used by the Royal Australian Navy (RAN) primarily for anti-submarine and anti-surface warfare but is employed in a number of other roles including search and rescue and personnel transport.
“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,” says Cdr Scott Lockey, RAN 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 [exercise] against a Collins Class submarine.”
The RAN is using the Romeo to replace its fleet of ageing Sikorsky S-70Bs.
Meanwhile, Lockheed has handed over the final modernised AgustaWestland AW101 to the Royal Navy.
A total of 30 of the 15.6t helicopters have been raised to the HM2 standard by a combined Lockheed and Leonardo team under the £750 million ($990 million) Merlin Capability Sustainment Programme.
This effort sees the three-engined type receive updated radars, sonar systems and infrared cameras as well as new avionics and mission systems.