Lockheed Martin company Sikorsky has secured a contract to supply a total of 12 additional MH-60R Seahawk helicopters to the Royal Australian Navy (Ran).

Awarded by the US Navy, the new firm-fixed-price contract follows a foreign military sale (FMS) agreement approved by the US Government in October last year.

Delivery of all the MH-60R is expected to take place between mid-2025 and mid-2026

Sikorsky Maritime & Mission Systems vice-president Hamid Salim said: “Ongoing and planned upgrades to MH-60R through partnership with the US Navy, RAN, international partners and industry will ensure aircraft’s reliability and mission effectiveness against emerging threats for decades to come.”

The MH-60R fleet is being procured under the Australian Government’s Project SEA 9100 Phase-1, which involves providing ‘improved embarked logistics support helicopter capability’ to the RAN.

Once delivered, the 12 helicopters will add a third MH-60R squadron to the RAN’s existing Fleet Air Arm.

The first two squadrons, Fleet Air Arm 725 and 816 based at Nowra, have already completed over 30,000 flight hours, supporting operations aboard the RAN’s frigates, destroyers and supply ships.

Sikorsky Aircraft Australia is currently responsible for providing the required supply support, depot level maintenance and logistics support for the RAN’s MH-60R fleet.

RAN Navy Capability head rear admiral Peter Quinn said: “The versatility of MH-60R to conduct wide range of missions combined with world-class support provided by our partners, was a significant factor in decision by the RAN to make an additional investment in MH-60R under SEA 9100 Phase-1 programme.”

The RAN is the first international customer to procure Sikorsky’s MH-60R multi-mission helicopter, and has already acquired 24 aircraft between 2013 and 2016.