The Sikorsky Aircraft MH-60R Seahawk has been approved for full-scale production by the US government.

The MH-60R is the US Navy’s next generation anti-submarine and surface attack helicopter, replacing the SH-60B and SH-60F. The MH-60R features a glass cockpit and significant mission system improvements, integrated by Lockheed Martin Systems Integration.

The aircraft was approved by Delores Etter, USN assistant secretary for research, development and acquisition on 31 March. The decision follows a positive review of the aircraft's operational evaluation carried out in September.

“The MH-60R team, including the programme office, our industry partners, our developmental test team and the fleet evaluators, has accomplished truly impressive achievements along the road to getting the platform developed and fielded,” says Paul Grosklags, H-60 programme manager.

The USN is expected to order as many as 254 MH-60R aircraft by 2015, 144 of which through a joint deal with the US Army for the UH-60M variant. The value of the deal is estimated at $10 billion including maintenance and training.

The first four MH-60Rs were delivered in December. This deal sees production will now increase to 30 aircraft per year.

Source: Flight International