Lockheed Martin has secured a contract from the US Navy to provide eight MH-60R Romeo Seahawk helicopters for the Spanish Navy.
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This acquisition is the latest in Spain’s long history of operating Sikorsky helicopters, with the Spanish Navy retiring the last of 18 Sikorsky SH-3 Sea King helicopters in 2022 following deliveries that began in 1966. From 1988 to 2001, the Armada acquired 12 SH-60B aircraft and, more recently, purchased eight SH-60F Seahawk helicopters retired by the US Navy.
The introduction of the Romeo helicopters will significantly upgrade and broaden the range of maritime capabilities currently performed by its SH-60B Seahawk fleet.
Hamid Salim, vice-president of Sikorsky Maritime Systems, welcomed this announcement, saying: “Operational effectiveness of the MH-60R multi-mission helicopter is a direct result of ongoing investment by the US Navy, Sikorsky, and our partner suppliers in the air vehicle, mission systems and sensors.”
The Spanish Armada (Navy) said: “The new MH-60R will upgrade mission systems and sensors of the SH-60B fleet, elevating the Armada to the highest level of anti-submarine and anti-surface warfare capability. We expect a smooth transition from the SH-60B to the MH-60R.”
Spain’s eight new MH-60R aircraft will join a fleet of 330 worldwide operational with the US Navy, Australia, Denmark, Saudi Arabia and India. Aircraft deliveries to Greece and South Korea will begin in 2024.
In May, the US Navy announced the global MH-60R fleet had surpassed 1 million flight hours.
Spain’s introduction of the MH-60R was welcomed by the US Navy’s H-60 Multi-mission Helicopters program manager, Captain William Hargreaves, who said: Spain’s confidence in the MH-60R is an attestation to our shared commitment to national security and the security of our allied nations. We are committed to supporting Spain throughout this process, from contract award through delivery, while further solidifying our global partnership. The increased capabilities and new technologies of the MH-60R Seahawk will allow the Spanish Navy to remain a ready, capable and equipped fleet.”