Denmark to purchase ALFS systems and sonobuoys for helicopter fleet

29 August 2019 (Last Updated August 29th, 2019 14:08)

Denmark is on course to procure airborne low frequency sonar (ALFS) systems and sonobuoys for MH-60R Seahawk multi-mission helicopters after the US State Department approved the potential sale.

Denmark to purchase ALFS systems and sonobuoys for helicopter fleet
A US Naval Air System Command (NAVAIR) MH-60R “Knighthawk” helicopter conducting an ALFS operation during testing and evaluation. Credit: U.S. Navy.

Denmark is on course to procure airborne low frequency sonar (ALFS) systems and sonobuoys for MH-60R Seahawk multi-mission helicopters after the US State Department approved the potential sale.

The deal is estimated to be worth around $200m and will be implemented through the US Department of Defense’s (DoD) foreign military sale (FMS) programme.

It must receive the approval of Congress before the Government of Denmark can start negotiations with the designated contractor.

Denmark will acquire nine AN/AQS-22 ALFS systems and 600 AN/SSQ-36/53/62 sonobuoys, spare and repair parts; and support and test equipment.

The FMS will also cover the supply of communication equipment, training and logistics support services.

In a statement, the Defense Security Cooperation Agency (DSCA) said: “This proposed sale will support the foreign policy and national security objectives of the US by helping to improve the military capability of Denmark, a Nato ally that is an important force for ensuring political stability and economic progress within Europe.”

The procurement of the systems will better prepare Denmark in tackling current and future threats.

The ALFS and Sonobuoys will improve the country’s capability to deter regional threats and better defend its homeland.

Denmark will use the systems to enhance its anti-submarine warfare (ASW) capabilities.

Lockheed Martin Rotary and Mission Systems has been named as the primary contractor for the programme.

The AN/AQS-22 ALFS integrated dipping sonar system serves as the primary undersea warfare (USW) sensor of the MH-60R.

The system allows the helicopters to perform ASW missions involving submarine detection, tracking and classification. It is designed to provide a longer detection range over a larger area.

Last month, the US approved the sale of seven MH-60R helicopters to Greece. The proposed sale also includes ALFS systems, sonobuoys, and other equipment.