Australian Navy’s Romeo helicopter completes first of class flight trials

12 April 2015 (Last Updated April 12th, 2015 18:30)

The Royal Australian Navy’s (RAN) first MH-60R Seahawk Romeo helicopter has completed the final deck landing, marking the end of its first of class flight trials (FOCFT).

Seahawk MH60R

The Royal Australian Navy's (RAN) first MH-60R Seahawk Romeo helicopter has completed the final deck landing, marking the end of its first of class flight trials (FOCFT).

The FOCFT started in February this year, as part of introducing this new helicopter into service.

RAN had conducted the trials aboard Anzac-class frigate HMAS Perth and it was carried out under the direction of the Navy's Aircraft Maintenance and Flight Trials Unit.

Trial lead lieutenant commander Simon Lam said: "I wish to thank all those involved from all those directly and indirectly involved in the planning and conduct of the trial.

"Their efforts will leave an everlasting imprint on the embarked capability of the MH-60R for its life of type and have a significant effect on the capability of the wider Navy as more MH-60R proceed to sea in the future."

The navy performed more than 72 hours of flight testing, including 245 deck landings on Perth both by day and night, with the pilots using night vision goggles on some approaches.

"I wish to thank all those involved from all those directly and indirectly involved in the planning and conduct of the trial."

During the trial, the helicopter was configured in a range of operational roles, which included the fitting of Hellfire missiles and torpedoes.

The trails involved the collection and assessment of large amount of data points as well as deck handling and maintenance assessments.

In addition, the integration of squadron personnel and equipment was assessed during the trial.

The data received will help the trials unit to recommend ship helicopter operating limits (SHOLs) for various aircraft weights by day and night, including using night vision equipment.

The Seahawk Romeo helicopter and HMAS Perth will be reunited later in the year, when personnel from new 725 Squadron will re-embark for Exercise Talisman Sabre 2015.


Image: The Seahawk MH60R helicopter from NUSQN725, lands on HMAS Perth during First Of Class Flight Trials off the east coast of Tasmania. Photo: courtesy of Royal Australian Navy..