Defense News ~ OWEGO, N.Y., Feb. 9 /PRNewswire/ -- Lockheed Martin (NYSE: LMT) has formally delivered the 50th MH-60R helicopter, fully equipped for its mission to protect the U.S. Navy fleet from hostile submarines and surface ships.
The newest member of the SEAHAWKÂ® family of maritime helicopters is designed and manufactured by Sikorsky, with advanced mission systems integration by Lockheed Martin. "I am extremely proud of the MH-60R team, which has enabled this important milestone in the Romeo's continued introduction to the fleet," said Rear Adm. Steve Eastburg, Program Executive Officer Air ASW, Assault and Special Mission programs. "The enormous multimission capability of this platform continues to be leveraged by the warfighter in new and innovative ways. It is truly a game-changing platform that will deliver powerful capabilities, ranging from low-end to high-end warfare, in the years ahead."
During the February 3 delivery ceremony at Lockheed Martin's Mission Systems & Sensors facility in Owego, NY, Rear Adm. Paul Grosklags, vice commander, Naval Air Systems Command thanked Lockheed Martin and Sikorsky employees and other key suppliers for their contributions to this important program.
"The MH-60R has evolved over 30 years, through lessons learned during developmental testing, fleet deployments and maintenance on these rugged airframes and mission systems, in the harshest maritime environments," said Grosklags. "It stands now as the premier multimission helicopter in operation today. The U.S. Navy is grateful for the tremendous teamwork and experience you bring to deliver this remarkable weapon system."
This week, an aircrew from Helicopter Maritime Strike Squadron Seven Zero (HSM-70) will fly the 50th aircraft from the Owego, NY, facility to its new home at the Naval Air Station in Jacksonville, Fla. The aircraft is the 10th MH-60R delivered to HSM-70, which was established in February 2009.
HSM-70 will deploy with 11 MH-60R aircraft aboard the USS George H.W. Bush carrier strike group (CVN 77) in 2011. To date, the U.S. Navy has established and equipped four MH-60R squadrons, with plans to fill out 16 more through the purchase of 300 aircraft.
"The 50th delivery is a great opportunity to reflect on the success of the MH-60R within the fleet, to look forward to the expansion of the MH-60R throughout the helicopter community and to recognize the organizations that have brought this tremendous capability to the Navy," said Captain Dean Peters, the U.S. Navy's MH-60 program manager. "Today, these highly integrated platforms are building a situational awareness picture of the surface and undersea domains that is proving invaluable to fleet operators."
As mission systems integrator for the Sikorsky-built MH-60R, Lockheed Martin is responsible for integrating the helicopter's digital cockpit, a multi-mode radar, acoustic sonar suite, long-range infrared camera and other advanced sensors to detect, identify, track and engage surface and subsurface targets. Lockheed Martin also integrates a self defense system to protect the aircraft from missile threats.
"The highly integrated nature of the Common Cockpitâ¢ avionics suite and the mission systems allows the aircrew to spend less time interpreting data and more time prosecuting the target," said George Barton, Lockheed Martin's director of Naval Helicopter Programs.
U.S. Navy test squadrons concluded 1900 hours of rigorous MH-60R flight and mission systems evaluations in 2005. Since full rate production began in early 2006, Lockheed Martin and Sikorsky have delivered all MH-60R aircraft to the U.S. Navy ahead of schedule.
The companies expect to deliver up to 27 fully-missionized MH-60R aircraft in calendar year 2010 to the U.S. Navy as part of a five-year contract for 139 MH-60R aircraft through 2013. Extra production capacity exists to deliver an additional 20 aircraft each year for sale by the U.S. Government to international navies.
The U.S. Navy deployed with 11 MH-60R aircraft for the first time from January to July 2009 with the USS John C. Stennis (CVN 74) carrier strike group. During exercises in the western Pacific, the MH-60R proved to be an exceptional sub hunter and surface warfare weapons platform, accomplishing a 95 percent sortie completion rate, and showing it can perform utility and search and rescue missions among other secondary missions.
Headquartered in Bethesda, Md., Lockheed Martin is a global security company that employs about 140,000 people worldwide and is principally engaged in the research, design, development, manufacture, integration and sustainment of advanced technology systems, products and services. The Corporation reported 2009 sales of $45.2 billion.
For additional information, visit our web site: http://www.lockheedmartin.com
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