The Royal Australian Navy (RAN) has chosen the US MH-60R Seahawk for its new rotary wing anti-submarine warfare platform as part of a $4bn naval combat helicopter purchase.

The Australian Navy considers Sikorsky MH-60R as a cheaper, risk-free solution for the navy when compared to its competitor, the European NH90 naval frigate helicopter.

The multimission MH-60R is designed to operate from frigates, destroyers, cruisers and carriers.

The first MH-60R will be delivered to the RAN by late 2011, according to Sikorsky.

The Australian Navy says it will purchase a total of 24 helicopters equipped with missiles and torpedoes to perform ASW and ASuW roles, which are expected to enter service by 2014.