LM, Sikorsky Pushing For More MH-60 Exports
Fresh from signing to sell the MH-60 to Australia, Lockheed Martin and Sikorsky are pushing for further export orders of the naval helicopter with Saudi Arabia, India, Qatar and Denmark lined up as potential customers.
Large orders in the U.S. for the two variants of the helicopter have helped push prices down 10 percent, said Michael Sears, international program manager for the Navy’s H-60 program office.
During a presentation at the Farnborough International Airshow, Sears said that 130 MH-60R helicopters had been delivered to the U.S. Navy as of June 18, while nine squadrons had been formed of a total of 19 due to be formed by 2018.
As of June 5, Lockheed Martin had delivered 213 MH-60S helicopters, he added.
The MH-60R, or Romeo, is the anti-submarine warfare and anti-surface variant while the MH-60S or Sierra is a combat search-and-rescue, anti-surface and mine countermeasures variant. They have the same cockpit and perform some overlapping missions.
Sears said Saudi Arabia, India and Qatar were interested in both variants, while Denmark was interested in the Romeo. Australia has ordered 24 Romeos, while Thailand has ordered two Sierras.
“We are building 30 a year and have the capacity to build 45,” he said.
Sears said a newly developed laser mine detecting system will be ready to mount on the Sierra variants within a year and a half.
The first of three spiral upgrades to the Romeo included Link 16, which Australia had requested, Sears said.