Saturday, March 6, 2021

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Amid Tensions With Turkey, US Approves Sale Of MH-60R Seahawk Helicopters To Greece

The U.S. has approved the sale of four MH-60R Seahawk helicopters to Greece which comes at a time when the country is running deep into a dispute with Turkey. 

According to the contract awarded to Lockheed Martin Corp, the deal calls for the supply of four MH-60R Seahawk helicopters for the Hellenic Navy, along with an option to procure additional SONAR systems for the rotorcraft.

Sikorsky SH-60 Seahawk - Wikipedia
Sikorsky SH-60 Seahawk – Wikipedia

“Lockheed Martin Corp., Owego, New York, is awarded a $193,980,348 contract modification (P00019) to previously awarded firm-fixed-price contract N00019-19-C-0013.

This modification adds a $180,000,000 not-to-exceed, undefinitized line item for the production and delivery of four MH-60R aircraft, and exercises a $13,980,348 option to procure three airborne low-frequency sonars in support of the government of Greece,” the Pentagon said in the press release.

In 2019, the U.S. State Department cleared a $600 million foreign military sale (FMS) of seven MH-60R Seahawk multi-mission helicopters to Greece. In July 2020, Greece signed a contract for the purchase of 4 new units, via this program.

MH-60R ‘SeaHawk’

The MH-60R SeaHawk helicopter is a twin-engine, multi-mission, all-weather Naval utility helicopter, based on the Army’s UH-60 BlackHawk, and is used for a variety of roles including anti-submarine warfare (ASW), anti-surface warfare (ASUW), naval special warfare (NSW) insertion, search and rescue (SAR), combat search and rescue (CSAR), vertical replenishment (VERTREP), and medical evacuation (MEDEVAC) operations.

This versatile helicopter can be deployed on any air-capable vessel, be it frigates, destroyers, aircraft carriers, cruisers, fast combat ships, amphibious assault ships, or the navy’s new littoral combat ships.

Claimed to be the world’s most advanced maritime helicopter, its avionics include dual controls and instead of the complex array of dials and gauges in Bravo and Foxtrot aircraft, 4 fully integrated 8″ x 10″ night vision goggle-compatible and sunlight-readable colour multi-function displays, all part of glass cockpit produced by Owego Helo Systems division of Lockheed Martin.

Onboard sensors include: AN/AAR-47 Missile Approach Warning System by ATK, Raytheon AN/AAS-44 electro-optical system that integrates FLIR and laser rangefinder, AN/ALE-39 decoy dispenser and AN/ALQ-144 infrared jammer by BAE Systems, AN/ALQ-210 electronic support measures system by Lockheed Martin, AN/APS-147 multi-mode radar/IFF interrogator, which during a mid-life technology insertion project is subsequently replaced by AN/APS-153 Multi-Mode Radar with Automatic Radar Periscope Detection and Discrimination (ARPDD) capability, and both radars were developed by Telephonics, a more advanced AN/AQS-22 advanced airborne low-frequency sonar (ALFS) jointly developed by Raytheon & Thales, AN/ARC-210 voice radio by Rockwell Collins, an advanced airborne fleet data link AN/SRQ-4 Hawklink with radio terminal set AN/ARQ-59 radio terminal, both by L3Harris, and LN-100G dual-embedded global positioning system and inertial navigation system by Northrop Grumman Litton division. MH-60R does not carry the MAD (magnetic anomaly detector) suite.

Offensive capabilities are improved by the addition of new Mk-54 air-launched torpedoes and Hellfire missiles. All Helicopter Anti-Submarine Light (HSL) squadrons that receive the Romeo are redesignated Helicopter, Strike Maritime (HSM) squadrons.

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