The third and fourth MH-60R “Romeo” helicopters take flight from the Lockheed Martin facility in Owego, N.Y., to join the Royal Australian Navy’s (RAN) first pair of helicopters training at Jacksonville Naval Air Station in Jacksonville, Florida.
On Jan. 24, the U.S. Navy officially delivered two Romeos to the RAN, marking a significant milestone for the international alliance between the U.S. and Australia. The advanced, proven helicopters are currently the cornerstone of the U.S. Navy’s anti-submarine and anti-surface warfare (ASW/ASuW) operations, and the RAN will benefit from the next-generation capabilities with a fleet of 24 Romeos.
“The first time we pack a punch now using the Hellfire missile that we’ve never had before,” said RAN Commanding Officer of NUSQN 725, Commander David Frost, at the Jan. 24 delivery ceremony. “It’s been a capability gap that we’re now going to be able to fill with this aircraft. It’s an aircraft that’s jam-packed with sensors the likes of which we’ve never seen and the US Navy are still coming to grips with. It’s an incredible aircraft.”
The entire fleet of 24 aircraft will be delivered to the RAN by 2017.