The US Defense Security Cooperation Agency (DSCA) has notified Congress of a possible foreign military sale (FMS) to Australia in support of an upgrade programme for MH-60R multi-mission helicopters.
The estimated $360m FMS was requested by the Government of Australia has been approved by the US State Department.
Australia has sought a follow-on case for a possible ten-year upgrade programme for 24 MH-60R multi-mission helicopters under the proposed sale.
The country has also submitted a request for the probable sale of associated training devices, spare and repair parts, support and test equipment, and engineering and technical assistance, in addition to engineering, technical and logistics support services from the US Government and various contractor representatives.
Additionally, the possible deal will ensure the supply of engineering change proposals (ECPs), ECPs for training devices, classified software (JMPS / MDLs), engineering technical assistance (ETA), logistics technical assistance (LTA) and other technical assistance (OTA) to Australia.
Supply support, support equipment, and other related elements of logistics and programme support have also been included as part of the potential arrangement.
The proposed improvements to the MH-60R aircraft will enable the Royal Australian Navy (RAN) to enhance the country’s anti-submarine and surface warfare capability.
The upgrade work will also enhance the helicopters' search and rescue capabilities, in addition to improving their anti-ship surveillance abilities.
Further, the upgrade programme would enable the aircraft to address international commitments for transport, surveillance, and search and rescue operations with the US and other allies.
These will provide Australia with the resources required to properly maintain its multi-mission helicopters.
Lockheed Martin subsidiary Sikorsky has been cited as the potential principal contractor for the FMS.