Denmark is Second FMS Customer for Naval MH-60R

 - December 14, 2012, 12:35 PM
U.S. Navy MH-60R Seahawk takes off from the deck of the aircraft carrier USS Nimitz in this photo taken in October this year. (Photo: U.S. Navy)

The Danish government signed a letter of intent to acquire nine MH-60R Seahawk helicopters through a U.S. foreign military sale valued at $686 million. Denmark is the second foreign nation after Australia to buy the maritime helicopter, manufactured by Sikorsky Aircraft with mission systems integration by Lockheed Martin.

The Royal Danish Navy aircraft will be configured for search-and-rescue and anti-surface warfare operations in the North Atlantic, replacing the service’s AgustaWestland Super Lynx helicopters. Raytheon supplies the aircraft’s AN/AAS-44C(V) multi-spectral targeting system, combining forward-looking infrared and electro-optical imagery and laser designation and illumination.

The Australian government selected the MH-60R in June 2011 to fulfill its AIR 9000 Phase 8 requirement for 24 multi-role naval helicopters to replace 16 existing S-70B-2 Seahawks. The first two aircraft will be delivered in December next year. Last May, the Pentagon’s Defense Security Cooperation Agency notified Congress of the possible sale of eight MH-60Rs to South Korea.

The Pentagon notified Congress of the FMS to Denmark in November 2010, originally for 12 helicopters. The letter-of-intent signing announcement by Sikorsky and Lockheed Martin on December 6 states that all nine MH-60Rs will be delivered by 2018. In May, Sikorsky and Danish manufacturer Terma said they would expand upon a 2010 memorandum of understanding to collaborate on aircraft programs, contingent on Denmark’s decision to procure the MH-60Rs.

The U.S. Navy has 144 MH-60Rs, with a planned requirement for 291, according to the Naval Air Systems Command. The MH-60R is replacing the fleet’s legacy Sikorsky SH-60B/Fs.