Lockheed Martin Federal Systems (LMFS) has rolled out the first prototype modified Sikorsky SH-60R Seahawk as the US Navy firms up plans to remanufacture and upgrade 243 of its Seahawks over the next 12 years.

The USN is to award systems integrator LMFS and airframe manufacturer Sikorsky an initial low rate production contract next March for the first five SH-60Rs, followed by five machines in 2001 and 14 the year after. Deliveries will start in late 2002, after which output will rise to 24-27 a year. Work will begin with the USN's 170 SH-60B multipurpose machines.

The original SH-60B airframe is retained, with life extension modifications, but a Litton glass cockpit, Telephonics APS-147 radar, Raytheon/Thomson-CSF AQS-22 dipping sonar and sonobuoy system are added.

Source: Flight International