The defence supplier has secured a new MRO contract to support the MH-60R Seahawk helicopters, its second US Navy contract in a matter of months.
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RUAG Australia has been awarded new contracts by the US Navy for component maintenance, repair and overhaul (MRO) on MH-60R Seahawk helicopters.
Under the terms of the contracts — which are authorised under the AUSMIN Defence Acquisition Committee (ADAC) initiative — RUAG will employ specialised treatment and repair methods for the platform’s componentry, building on its support for the SH-60B Seahawk.
The MH-60R Seahawk is the second US Navy platform RUAG Australia is set to support, in addition to the F/A-18 Hornet contracts awarded in August 2020.
According to Terry Miles, general manager RUAG Australia, this latest contract strengthens the existing collaboration between RUAG and the US Navy and would establish a foundation for future growth for the Australian Defence SME.
“Earning the confidence and trust of the US Navy is testament to our highly skilled team of professionals who provided reliable MRO support for the B model Seahawk,” Miles said.
“Now awarded the first contracts for F/A-18 components and the MH-60R Seahawk proves our relationship with them continues forward, going from strength-to-strength.”
RUAG Australia is the first Australian company to provide MRO of selected components for the MH-60R Seahawk helicopter under the ADAC initiative — a senior bilateral forum for co-operation between the US and Australian militaries aiming to facilitate closer Defence and industry collaboration.
"We are very proud to apply our vast technical expertise and know-how in life cycle support on behalf of the US fleet and their aircraft availability," Stephan Jezler, senior vice president aviation international, RUAG MRO International, added.
The MH-60R Seahawk is the Royal Australian Navy's next-generation submarine hunter and anti-surface warfare helicopter and will form a very important part of its operations for years to come.
The MH-60R is equipped with a highly sophisticated combat system designed to employ Hellfire air-to-surface missiles and the Mark 54 anti-submarine torpedo. The primary missions of the 'Romeo' helicopter is anti-submarine warfare and anti-surface warfare.
Secondary missions include search and rescue, logistics support, personnel transport and medical evacuation. The MH-60R and its mission systems replaced the fleet’s S-70B-2 Seahawk aircraft, which retired from service on 1 December 2017.
The Australian government approved the acquisition of 24 MH-60R Seahawk ‘Romeo’ naval combat helicopters at a cost of over $3 billion. The helicopters are largely military off-the-shelf built by Sikorsky and Lockheed Martin, and were acquired through the FMS process from the US Navy.
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, NSW, and will be in various stages of the regular maintenance and training cycle.