Naval Warfare

Spanish Government Approved for Eight Sikorsky MH-60R Seahawk Helicopters purchase

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Spanish Government Approved for Eight Sikorsky MH-60R Seahawk Helicopters purchase

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

The Spanish Council of Ministers has authorized the execution of the contract for the acquisition of 8 MH-60R multipurpose helicopters, for an estimated value of 820,515,490.36 euros. The acquisition of this weapons system also entails the supply of different equipment associated with it and initial logistical support. These new aircraft, which will replace the fleet of naval tactical helicopters, currently based on the SH-60B model and which are at the end of their operational life, whose withdrawal is scheduled for 2025, will allow the Navy to meet its needs and update and enhance its capabilities in fulfilling the missions entrusted to it, by having this new technologically more advanced variant, which is an evolution of the aforementioned SH-60B model.

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 blades and a hinged tail to reduce its footprint aboard ships. Able to deploy aboard any air-capable frigate, destroyer, cruiser, fast combat support ship, expeditionary transfer dock, amphibious assault ship, littoral combat ship or aircraft carrier, the Seahawk can handle anti-submarine warfare (ASW), anti-surface warfare (ASUW), naval special warfare (NSW) insertion, search and rescue (SAR), combat search and rescue (CSAR), vertical replenishment (VERTREP), and medical evacuation (MEDEVAC).

Sikorsky MH-60R Seahawk Maritime Helicopter
Sikorsky MH-60R Seahawk Maritime Helicopter. (Photo by Lockheed Martin)

The MH-60R Seahawk helicopter brings transformational anti-submarine (ASW) and anti-surface warfare (ASuW) capabilities to navies around the world. Designed and built to U.S. Navy specifications, the ‘Romeo’ aircraft is rugged, powerful, and reliable. The MH-60R was originally known as “LAMPS Mark III Block II Upgrade” when development began in 1993 with Lockheed Martin. The production variant was redesignated MH-60R to match its multi-mission capability. The MH-60R was formally deployed by the US Navy in 2006. 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.

The U.S. Department of State has approved the possible sale to the Government of Spain of eight (8) MH-60R
helicopters; twenty (20) T-700-GE-401C engines (16 installed, 4 spares); thirty-two (32) AGM-114R(N)
Hellfire missiles, all up rounds; two (2) Hellfire II Captive Air Training Missiles (CATM); one hundred (100)
WGU-59/B Advanced Precision Kill Weapon System (APKWS) II Guidance Sections, all up rounds; eight
(8) Link 16 Multifunctional Information Distribution Systems Joint Tactical Radio Systems (MIDS JTRS) (8
installed); and four (4) Airborne Low Frequency Sonars (ALFS) (4 installed on 4 aircraft). The total estimated program cost would be up to $950 million.

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