Norway’s acquisition of six MH-60R Seahawk helicopters from Lockheed Martin will bolster its maritime capabilities, enabling search and rescue and coastal patrols.

Sikorsky, a Lockheed Martin company, designed and built the multi-mission aircraft.

The US Navy has awarded the contract. The Seahawk platform can work in extreme maritime environments. 

“Sikorsky and the US Navy have 40 years of experience designing, building and improving Seahawk helicopters for operations in extreme maritime environments and preparing militaries worldwide for ever-evolving threats,” said Hamid Salim, vice-president of Sikorsky Maritime Systems.

Norway chose the MH-60R Seahawk for its attributes including mission systems and sensors, low-flight-hour costs, and cost-effective maintenance and sustainment.

Norway’s Ministry of Defense cancelled its order of 14 NH-90 helicopters from NHIndustries (NHI) due to long-term procurement delays and maintenance issues, demanding a refund of Nkr5bn ($455m). The contract, initiated in 2001, faced numerous delays and problems, leading to the delivery of only eight airframes by 2022.

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Norway’s recent contract is the second MH-60R award in less than a month, as the US Navy previously contracted Lockheed Martin for eight MH-60R aircraft for the Spanish Navy. To date, Sikorsky has delivered 330 MH-60R helicopters to five different countries, with an additional 64 on order or currently in production for Australia, Greece, India, Norway, South Korea and Spain.

According to GlobalData’s The Global Military Rotorcraft Market 2023-2033 report, Lockheed Martin is anticipated to account for the fourth-highest revenue share ($3.7bn/€3.51bn) of the European region over the forecast period.

As a first-time operator of Seahawk helicopters, Norway is set to receive all six MH-60R aircraft by 2027. The helicopters are designed for land and maritime operations and are compatible with most air-capable ships. 

Capt. William Hargreaves, programme manager for the H-60 multi-mission helicopter programme office, expressed confidence in Norway’s choice, “We are confident in Norway’s selection of this unmatched, multi-mission helicopter to support their coast guard.”

The MH-60R helicopters will support Norway’s coast guard and other missions. Norway’s acquisition of these helicopters will strengthen its maritime defence capabilities and readiness in an increasingly complex naval environment.