The Royal Australian Navy lifted flight restrictions for the MH-60R Seahawk, following an emergency landing of the helicopter in the Philippine Sea last week.
The Royal Australian Navy confirmed that is has lifted flight restrictions on the MH-60R helicopter, following an emergency landing of an MH-60R in the Philippine Sea last week.
The helicopter was attached to HMAS Brisbane.
Rear Admiral Hammond, Commander Australian Fleet, confirmed that the emergency landing of the aircraft was not as a result of a problem impacting the entirety of Australia’s MH-60R fleet.
“Initial evidence indicates that the incident is not an issue impacting the rest of the MH-60R fleet,” RADM Hammond said.
“The MH-60R is a reliable platform with over 300 operating worldwide. Navy has a rigorous and regular maintenance schedule to ensure they remain both safe and effective.”
Defence has confirmed that none of the three service personnel onboard the MH-60R aircraft were injured at the time of the landing, and have continued serving onboard the HMAS Brisbane.
RADM Hammond lauded the efforts of the emergency response team.
“The successful rescue is credit to the devotion to duty and skill of the officers and sailors of HMAS Brisbane,” he said.
“Their immediate actions ensured the survival of the aircrew, validating the significant training undertaken in the event an emergency of this nature occurs.”
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The grounding of the MH-60R Seahawk fleet came just days after the US State Department greenlit the Commonwealth government’s request to purchase an additional 12 Seahawks from Lockheed Martin subsidiary Sikorsky for approximately US$985 million ($1.3 billion).
The deal, which will take the total size of the fleet to 36, was reportedly a response to technical issues associated with the Airbus-built MH-90 Taipan helicopters, deployed by both Navy and Army.
In June, Defence suspended flying operations of its 47 Taipan aircraft as a “safety precaution” after an issue relating to the “application of the helicopter’s maintenance policy” in the aircraft’s IT support system was identified.