Officials of the U.S. Naval Air Systems Command at Patuxent River Naval Air Station, Md., are asking the Lockheed Martin Mission Systems and Training segment in Owego, N.Y., to build and deliver 10 MH-60R mission avionics systems and common cockpits for the government of Saudi Arabia under the Foreign Military Sales (FMS) program.
The MH-60R, also operated by the U.S. Navy, is the latest version of the Sikorsky Seahawk. It is based on the U.S. Army Sikorsky UH-60 Black Hawk utility helicopter, as well as on a member of the Sikorsky S-70 family.
The multimission helicopter has sophisticated sensors, and is designed for anti-submarine and anti-surface warfare. The MH-60R is designed to operate from frigates, destroyers, cruisers, and aircraft carriers. The helicopter has a hinged tail to reduce its necessary storage area aboard ships.
In addition to its anti-submarine and anti-ship capabilities, the helicopter can handle naval special warfare insertion; search and rescue; combat search and rescue; vertical replenishment; and medical evacuation missions. The aircraft has a rescue hoist for search and rescue.
The helicopter can fly as fast as 144 knots at altitudes to nearly 15,000 feet. Its avionics include Enhanced Advanced Flight Control System (AFCS) with naval modules and coupled hover capability, as well as four our 8-by-10-inch color multifunction mission displays that are sunlight readable and night vision device capable.
The MH-60R cockpit also has secure VHF/UHF communication; inertial navigation system; satellite communications; data link; and accommodation for forward-looking infrared sensors and night-vision goggles.
The MH-60R uses many sensors, including the ASE package, MTS-FLIR, the AN/APS-147 multi-mode radar/IFF interrogator, an advanced airborne fleet data link, and an airborne active sonar. The helicopter includes instrumentation based on the MH-60S glass cockpit, and uses digital monitors instead of an array of gauges and dials. The aircraft can be armed with Mk-54 torpedoes and Hellfire missiles.
Saudi Arabia has 10 MH-60R helicopters on order. On this contract modification Lockheed Martin will do the work in Owego, Farmingdale, East Syracuse, and Victor, N.Y.; McKinney, Texas;; Woodland Hills, and Corona, Calif.; Salt Lake City; Ciudad Real, Spain; St, Charles, Mo.; Everett, Wash.;; Stratford, Conn.; and other U.S. locations, and should be finished by April 2019.