The US Defense Security Cooperation Agency (DSCA) has announced that Lockheed Martin has secured a US$37.8 million ($55.7 million) upgrade and retrofit for the MH-60 Romeo anti-submarine helicopters operated by the US Navy and allies, including Australia.
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Lockheed Martin was awarded the contract as a firm-fixed-price, cost-plus-fixed-fee, against previously issued basic ordering agreement
The US$37.8 million ($55.7 million) upgrade and retrofit contract will provide retrofits from the Generation III, V and VI Mission Computer (MC) configuration to the Generation 3i and 5i MC configuration on the MH-60R/S Seahawk helicopter (186 for the US Navy, seven for the government of Australia, five for the government of Denmark, and two for the government of Saudi Arabia).
This order also provides for retrofits from the Generation III and V Flight Management Computer (FMC) configuration to the Generation 3i and 5i FMC configuration on the MH-60R/S aircraft (186 for the Navy, seven for the government of Australia, five for the government of Denmark, and two for the government of Saudi Arabia).
Additionally, this order provides for the procurement of 162 wiring kits for the Navy, nine for the government of Australia, three for the government of Denmark, and three for the government of Saudi Arabia.
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.
Work is expected to be complete by May 2023. Fiscal 2019 aircraft procurement (Navy) funds in the amount of $7,832,526; fiscal 2020 aircraft procurement (Navy) funds in the amount of $27,086,960; and foreign military sales funds in the amount of $2,915,895 will be obligated at time of award, none of which will expire at the end of the current fiscal year.
The Naval Air Systems Command, Patuxent River, Maryland, is the contracting activity. This contract was not competitively procured pursuant to Defense Federal Acquisition Regulation 206.302-4. The Naval Air Systems Command, Patuxent River, Maryland, is the contracting activity.
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 foreign military sales (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.