OWEGO, N.Y. — The U.S. Navy has awarded Lockheed Martin Corp. (NYSE: LMT) a nearly $504 million contract order to produce an additional 12 Sikorsky MH-60R Seahawk helicopters for the Royal Australian Navy (RAN).
Procured via the federal government’s foreign-military sales agreement, the new aircraft will add a third ‘Romeo’ squadron to RAN’s fleet air arm.
A little over half (52 percent) of the contract work will be performed in Owego while 40 percent is completed in Stratford, Connecticut, and 8 percent in Troy, Alabama, according to an Aug. 29 contract announcement from the U.S. Department of Defense. It’s expected to be completed in October 2026.
Sikorsky is a Lockheed Martin company. Sikorsky builds each aircraft, Lockheed tells CNYBJ in an email. Its Troy, Alabama location builds sections of the airframe, while Sikorsky employees in Stratford, Connecticut assemble the sections and produces a flyable aircraft.
Lockheed Martin’s Owego site will install the cockpit avionics, sensors, and mission-system computers that enable the aircraft to perform its submarine hunting and maritime mission, the company says.
International navies purchase the aircraft through the U.S. Navy. To date, 330 MH-60R Seahawk aircraft have been delivered from the Owego plant to their final destinations, Lockheed tells CNYBJ.
“The ‘Romeo’ Seahawk helicopter instills confidence in navies worldwide for its high operational availability in the harsh maritime environment, and for the fully integrated mission systems and sensors that quickly generate a complete picture of the surface and subsurface domains,” Hamid Salim, VP with Sikorsky Maritime & Mission Systems, said. “We thank the RAN for showing confidence in the broad mission flexibility of this proven multi-role helicopter. Ongoing and planned upgrades to the MH-60R through partnership with the U.S. Navy, RAN, other international partners and industry will ensure the aircraft’s reliability and mission effectiveness against emerging threats for decades to come.”
Lockheed Martin plans to deliver all 12 MH-60R helicopters between mid-2025 and mid-2026. Sikorsky Aircraft Australia Limited in Nowra, New South Wales, currently provides depot-level maintenance, supply support, and logistics support for Australia’s MH-60R helicopter fleet.
The Royal Australian Navy was the first international navy to select the MH-60R helicopter, acquiring 24 aircraft from 2013-2016. The fleet air arm’s 725 and 816 squadrons based at Nowra have accumulated more than 30,000 flight hours embarked on frigates, destroyers, and supply ships, Lockheed Martin said.