The State Department approved a potential $985 million Foreign Military Sale (FMS) for 12 Sikorsky Seahawk MH-60R Multi-Mission helicopters this week.
The Defense Security Cooperation Agency (DSCA) notified Congress of the possible sale on Oct. 8.
The sale includes the 12 helicopters as well as 30 T-700-GE-401C engines (24 installed, six spares); 12 APS-153(V) Multi-Mode Radars (installed); 12 AN/AAS-44C(V) Multi-Spectral Targeting Systems (installed); 34 Embedded Global Positioning System/Precise Positioning Service (GPS/PPS)/Inertial Navigation Systems (EGI) with Selective Availability/Anti-Spoofing Module (SAASM) (24 installed, 10 spares); 12 Airborne Low Frequency Sonars (ALFS) (aircraft provisions only); 20 Link 16 Multifunctional Information Distribution Systems (MIDS) – Joint Tactical Radio System (JTRS) (12 installed, eight spares); 12 GAU-61 Digital Rocket Launchers (aircraft provisions only); 12 Airborne Low Frequency Sonars (ALFS) (aircraft provisions only); 24 M299 Missile Launchers; (12) GAU-21 Crew Served Guns aircraft provisions (installed, includes aircraft adapter, ammunition bin, and other accessories); and various other affiliated equipment and support services.
The primary contractor for the FMS is helicopter builder Lockheed Martin [LMT], which owns Sikorsky.
DSCA said the helicopters will help improve Australia’s ability to perform anti-surface and anti-submarine warfare as well as secondary missions like vertical replenishment, search and rescue and communications relay.
“Australia will use the enhanced capability as a deterrent to regional threats and to strengthen its homeland defense,” the agency added.
The notice argued it is “vital” to national interest to assist “one of our most important allies” in the Western Pacific in maintaining a strong self-defense capability.
In July, the U.S. and Indian navies marked the induction of the first two MH-60Rs into the Indian Navy (Defense Daily, July 23).
In April, Thales announced it completed negotiations with Lockheed Martin to supply 55 anti-submarine warfare Airborne Low Frequency Sonar units to the U.S Navy as well as India, Greece and Denmark Seahawks. This Australian sale also includes 12 ALFSs (Defense Daily, April 27).
Also in April, the Navy awarded Lockheed Martin a $447 million order to produce 12 MH-60Rs for South Korea (Defense Daily, April 13).