Australia — New Naval Combat Helicopters

Min­is­ter for Defence Stephen Smith and Min­is­ter for Defence Materiel Jason Clare today announced that the Aus­tralian Gov­ern­ment had approved the acqui­si­tion of 24 MH-60R Sea­hawk ‘Romeo’ naval com­bat heli­copters at a cost of over $3 bil­lion.

The 2009 Defence White Paper com­mit­ted the Gov­ern­ment to equip­ping naval war­ships with a new com­bat heli­copter capa­ble of con­duct­ing a range of mar­itime misions with advanced anti-sub­ma­rine war­fare capa­bil­i­ties and the abil­i­ty to fire air-to-sur­face missiles. 

This announce­ment deliv­ers on that commitment. 

The new heli­copters will replace the Navy’s cur­rent com­bat heli­copter capa­bil­i­ty pro­vid­ed by 16 Sea­hawk S‑70B‑2 heli­copters and will also pro­vide the air to sur­face strike capa­bil­i­ty which was to have been pro­vid­ed by the can­celled Sea­sprite program. 

This deci­sion fol­lows a 15-month com­pet­i­tive acqui­si­tion process involv­ing the Siko­rsky-Lock­heed Mar­tin built MH-60R and the NATO Heli­copter Indus­tries NH90 NFH assem­bled by Aus­tralian Aerospace. 

This com­pet­i­tive process has ensured val­ue for mon­ey for the tax payer. 

The Aus­tralian Gov­ern­ment has cho­sen the ‘Romeo’ heli­copter because it rep­re­sents the best val­ue for mon­ey for tax­pay­ers and was the low­est risk option. 

The ‘Romeo’ is a proven capa­bil­i­ty cur­rent­ly oper­at­ed by the Unit­ed States Navy. The Unit­ed States Navy has accept­ed around 100 ‘Romeos’ which have accu­mu­lat­ed 90,000 fly­ing hours, includ­ing on oper­a­tional deployments. 

Inter­op­er­abil­i­ty with Australia’s Alliance part­ner, the Unit­ed States, is also a sig­nif­i­cant advan­tage of this helicopter. 

The heli­copters are large­ly mil­i­tary off-the-shelf built by Siko­rsky and Lock­heed Mar­tin and will be pur­chased through the For­eign Mil­i­tary Sales process from the US Navy. 

Defence has signed a Let­ter of Agree­ment for the acqui­si­tion with the Unit­ed States Government. 

The first two heli­copters will arrive in mid-2014 for test­ing and eval­u­a­tion with oper­a­tions expect­ed to com­mence in mid-2015. 

Acqui­si­tion of 24 ‘Romeos’ means that Navy will have the capac­i­ty to pro­vide at least eight war­ships with a com­bat heli­copter at the same time, includ­ing ANZAC Class frigates and the new Air War­fare Destroy­ers. The remain­der will be based at HMAS Alba­tross in Nowra, New South Wales, and will be in var­i­ous stages of the reg­u­lar main­te­nance and train­ing cycle. 

They will be equipped with a high­ly sophis­ti­cat­ed com­bat sys­tems designed to employ Hell­fire air-to-sur­face mis­sile and the Mark 54 anti-sub­ma­rine torpedo. 

The Gov­ern­ment will work with Aus­tralian Small-to-Medi­um Enter­pris­es to iden­ti­fy oppor­tu­ni­ties to form part of the ‘Romeo’ glob­al sup­ply chain. 

The Gov­ern­ment has estab­lished a joint work­ing group between Defence and the Depart­ment of Inno­va­tion, Indus­try, Sci­ence and Research to progress Aus­tralian indus­try involve­ment in the project. 

Press release
Min­is­te­r­i­al Sup­port and Pub­lic Affairs,
Depart­ment of Defence,
Can­ber­ra, Australia 

Face­book and/or on Twit­ter

Team GlobDef

Seit 2001 ist im Internet unterwegs, um mit eigenen Analysen, interessanten Kooperationen und umfassenden Informationen für einen spannenden Überblick der Weltlage zu sorgen. war dabei die erste deutschsprachige Internetseite, die mit dem Schwerpunkt Sicherheitspolitik außerhalb von Hochschulen oder Instituten aufgetreten ist.

Alle Beiträge ansehen von Team GlobDef →