Naval Warfare

US State Department Approves Sale of Engines and Sustainment for MH-60R Helicopters to South Korea

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US State Department Approves Sale of Engines and Sustainment for MH-60R Helicopters to South Korea

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Lockheed Martin’s MH-60R Seahawk Maritime Helicopter
Lockheed Martin’s MH-60R Seahawk Maritime Helicopter

The U.S. State Department has made a determination approving a possible Foreign Military Sale to the Republic of Korea of Engines and Sustainment for MH-60R Multi-Mission Helicopters and related elements of logistics and program support for an estimated cost of $350 million. The Republic of Korea (ROK) has requested to buy six (6) T-700 GE 401C or 401D engines. Also included are spare engine containers; spare and repair parts; ferry support; publications and technical documentation; 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.

South Korea has signed for 12 Lockheed Martin MH-60R Seahawk anti-submarine warfare (ASW) helicopters for USD447.2 million. Lockheed Martin beat-off competition from Leonardo with its AW159 Wildcat and NHIndustries with its NH90 NATO Frigate Helicopter (NFH). The selection of the MH-60R to fulfil the Maritime Operation Helicopter Batch II requirement on 15 December 2020. DAPA noted an estimated USD800 million budget for the 12 helicopters over the life of the project. When the US State Department approved the potential sale of the MH-60R to South Korea in August 2019, it listed the requested mission kit as including AN/APS-153(V) multimode radars, Thales/Raytheon AQS-22 Airborne Low Frequency Sonar Systems (ALFS), and AN/AAS-44C(V) Multi-Spectral Targeting Systems.

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 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 “Romeo” was originally known as “LAMPS Mark III Block II Upgrade” when development began in 1993 with Lockheed Martin (formerly IBM/Loral). Two SH-60Bs were converted by Sikorsky, the first of which made its maiden flight on 22 December 1999. Designated YSH-60R, they were delivered to NAS Patuxent River in 2001 for flight testing. The production variant was redesignated MH-60R to match its multi-mission capability. The MH-60R is designed to combine the features of the SH-60B and SH-60F. 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 Maritime Strike (HSM) squadrons.

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