U.S. approves Australian MH-60R helicopter upgrade program

The U.S. State Department has approved a possible Foreign Military Sale (FMS) to Royal Australian Navy (RAN) for a $360 million upgrade program for MH-60R Multi-Mission Helicopters,  the Defense Security Cooperation Agency (DSCA) said in a statement.

According to the statement, DSCA has delivered the required certification notifying Congress of this possible sale on August 30, 2017.

The Government of Australia has requested a follow-on case for a possible ten-year upgrade program for twenty-four (24) MH-60R Multi-Mission Helicopters and associated training devices, spare and repair parts, support and test equipment, engineering and technical services, U.S. Government and contractor engineering, technical and logistics support services, Engineering Change Proposals (ECPs), ECPs for training devices, classified software (JMPS/MDLs), Engineering Technical Assistance (ETA), Logistics Technical Assistance (LTA), Other Technical Assistance (OTA), supply support, support equipment, and other related elements of logistics and program support.

The proposed upgrades to the MH-60R helicopters are expected to improve Australia’s anti-submarine (ASW) and surface warfare (ASuW) capability, provide an improved search and rescue capability, enhance its anti-ship surveillance capability, and will help it carry out international commitments for transport, surveillance, and search and rescue operations with the United States and other allies.

The proposed upgrades will also provide Australia with the resources necessary to properly maintain its multi-mission helicopters.  Australia will have no difficulty absorbing this equipment into its armed forces.

The principal contractor will be Sikorsky, a Lockheed Martin Company, Stratford, CT and Lockheed Martin, Owego, NY.

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