Australia seeks sale of MH-60R multi-mission helicopters from US
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Australia seeks sale of MH-60R multi-mission helicopters from US

11 Oct 2021 (Last Updated October 11th, 2021 17:31)

The proposed $985m FMS is expected to improve Australia’s anti-surface and ASW capabilities.

Australia seeks sale of MH-60R multi-mission helicopters from US
An MH-60R Seahawk conducts sonar operations. Credit: US Navy/commons.wikimedia.org.

The US Defense Security Cooperation Agency (DSCA) has notified Congress of a possible foreign military sales (FMS) of MH-60R multi-mission helicopters to Australia.

Approved by the US State Department, the total estimated cost of the FMS and associated equipment is $985m.

The sale package will include up to 12 MH-60R multi-mission helicopters, 30 T-700-GE-401C engines, 12 APS-153(V) multi-mode radars, 12 AN/AAS-44C(V) multi-spectral targeting systems, 34 GPS/PPS/ EGI with selective availability/anti-spoofing module, 24 M299 missile launchers and 12 GAU-21 crew served guns aircraft provisions.

A total of 12 M240D crew served gun cradles, AN/ARC-210 RT-2036 UHF/VHF radios with COMSEC, AN/APX-123 IFF transponders, airborne low frequency sonars training simulators/operational machine interface assistants, spare engine containers are also included under the sale.

Services such as US Government and contractor engineering, technical, as well as other associated elements of logistical and programme support, were also requested by Australia.

Lockheed Martin will serve as principal US contractor for the FMS.

The proposed FMS is expected to improve Australia’s anti-surface and anti-submarine warfare (ASW) capabilities.

It will also enhance the country’s ability to perform secondary missions such vertical replenishment, search and rescue, and communications relay.

DSCA said in a statement: “This proposed sale will support the foreign policy and national security objectives of the United States.

“Australia is one of our most important allies in the Western Pacific. The strategic location of this political and economic power contributes significantly to ensuring peace and economic stability in the region.

“It is vital to the US national interest to assist our ally in developing and maintaining a strong and ready self-defence capability.”

The CH-47F is an advanced multi-mission helicopter designed for the US Army and other international defence forces.