Lockheed Martin has received a contract from the U.S. Navy to produce eight Sikorsky MH-60R Seahawk® helicopters for the Spanish Navy (Armada). Designed, built and integrated with advanced missions systems and sensors for anti-submarine and anti-surface warfare, the future Armada MH-60R aircraft will significantly upgrade and broaden the range of maritime capabilities currently performed by its SH-60B SEAHAWK fleet. Sikorsky is a Lockheed Martin company. The Armada retired the last of 18 Sikorsky SH-3 Sea King helicopters in 2022 following deliveries that began in 1966. From 1988 to 2001, the Armada acquired 12 SH-60B aircraft, and more recently, purchased eight SH-60F SEAHAWK helicopters retired by the U.S. Navy.
“Operational effectiveness of the MH-60R multi-mission helicopter is a direct result of ongoing investment by the U.S. Navy, Sikorsky, and our partner suppliers in the air vehicle, mission systems and sensors,” said Hamid Salim, vice president, Sikorsky Maritime Systems.
“Spain’s confidence in the MH-60R is an attestation to our shared commitment to national security and the security of our allied nations. We are committed to supporting Spain throughout this process from contract award through delivery while further solidifying our global partnership. The increased capabilities and new technologies of the MH-60R Seahawk will allow the Spanish Navy to remain a ready, capable and equipped fleet,” said Capt. William Hargreaves, U.S. Navy H-60 Multi-mission Helicopters program manager.
The new MH-60R SEAHAWK helicopter will upgrade mission systems and sensors of the SH-60B fleet, elevating the Spanish Navy to the highest level of anti-submarine and anti-surface warfare capability. The Spanish Navy expect a smooth transition from the SH-60B to the MH-60R. Spain’s eight new MH-60R aircraft will join a fleet of 330 worldwide operational with the U.S. Navy, Australia, Denmark, Saudi Arabia and India. Aircraft deliveries to Greece and South Korea will begin in 2024. In May, the U.S. Navy announced the global MH-60R fleet had surpassed 1 million flight hours.
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. The U.S. Navy uses the H-60 airframe under the model designations SH-60B, SH-60F, HH-60H, MH-60R, and MH-60S. 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). The MH-60R was originally known as “LAMPS Mark III Block II Upgrade” when development began in 1993 with Lockheed Martin (formerly IBM/Loral). 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.