Sikorsky MH-60R Seahawk Maritime Helicopter
Sikorsky MH-60R Seahawk Maritime Helicopter

South Korea Selects MH-60R Seahawk Helicopter to Boost ROKN Anti-Submarine Capabilities

South Korea’s Defense Acquisition Program Administration (DAPA) on Tuesday decided to buy U.S. aircraft manufacturer Sikorsky’s MH-60R Seahawk helicopter. South Korea will sign a contract with the Lockheed Martin Corp. subsidiary this year for the 960 billion won ($878 million) project to purchase maritime choppers to boost the Republic of Korea Navy (ROKN) detection and attack capabilities against enemies’ vessels and submarines. A total of 12 Seahawks will arrive here by 2025 in phases. The decision was made during a defense project promotion committee meeting. A total of 12 Seahawks will arrive South Korea by 2025 in phases.

The Government of the Republic of Korea has requested a possible sale of eight MH-60R SEAHAWK Multi-Mission Helicopters, 18 T-700 GE 401C Engines (16 installed and 2 spares), communication equipment, electronic warfare systems, support equipment, spare engine containers, spare and repair parts, tools and test equipment, technical data and publications, personnel training and training equipment, U.S. government and contractor engineering, technical, and logistics support services, and other related elements of logistics and program support. The prime contractors will be Sikorsky Aircraft Corporation in Stratford, Connecticut; Lockheed Martin in Owego, New York; and General Electric in Lynn, Massachusetts.

Sikorsky MH-60R Seahawk Maritime Helicopter
Royal Australian Navy Sikorsky MH-60R Seahawk Maritime Helicopter (Photo by Australian Government Department of Defence)

The Sikorsky SH-60/MH-60 Seahawk (or Sea Hawk) is a twin turboshaft engine, multi-mission United States Navy helicopter based on the United States Army UH-60 Black Hawk and a member of the Sikorsky S-70 family. The most significant modifications are the folding main rotor and a hinged tail to reduce its footprint aboard ships. The 19.76-meter-long and 5.1-meter-high chopper with the maximum cruising speed of 267 kilometers per hour can handle multiple missions, including operations of warfare, search, rescue, and medical evacuation. The U.S. Navy uses the H-60 airframe under the model designations SH-60B, SH-60F, HH-60H, MH-60R, and MH-60S.

The U..S Navy is the main operator of the MH-60R with 289 units in its fleet. The MH-60R is designed to combine the features of the SH-60B and SH-60F. Its avionics includes dual controls and instead of the complex array of dials and gauges in Bravo and Foxtrot aircraft, 4 fully integrated 8″ x 10″ night vision goggle-compatible and sunlight-readable color multi-function displays, all part of glass cockpit produced by Owego Helo Systems division of Lockheed Martin. Offensive capabilities are improved by the addition of new Mk-54 air-launched torpedoes and Hellfire missiles. All Helicopter Anti-Submarine Light (HSL) squadrons that receive the Romeo are redesignated Helicopter, Strike Maritime (HSM) squadrons.

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