Category Archives: News

Romeo Woos another Country

Team Seahawk nets second Foreign Military Sale, preps for next competition

Countries flying the MH-60R also benefit from U.S. Navy management, logistical support, training, product improvements and technical services.

This has been a busy year for Lockheed Martin and its Team Seahawk partners. Celebrations are underway in honor of the second Foreign Military Sale (FMS) of the MH-60R Romeo. The U.S. Navy announced an official agreement with the Danish government on Dec. 6 that paves the way for a fleet of nine Romeos to replace Denmark’s aging fleet of AgustaWestland Super Lynx helicopters.

“It’s great news that the Danish government has selected the U.S. Navy’s MH-60R, an aircraft we believe is the world’s most capable multi-mission maritime helicopter,” said Rear Adm. Paul Grosklags, Program Executive Officer, Air, ASW, Assault and Special Mission Programs. “Danish pilots and crew will be able to fly with the confidence that these aircraft have been proven operationally capable at sea and have the full logistics support already in place to ensure they are ready and able to fly anytime, anywhere in the world.”

In the midst of the excitement, preparations continue for the delivery, slated for late next year, of the first of an eventual 24 Romeos to the Royal Australian Navy. And the team is within sight of the finish line in the competition to provide the Republic of Korea with a fleet of MH-60R Romeo helicopters.

There’s a reason for the Romeo’s popularity, and the many merits of this multi-mission maritime helicopter are being recognized by a number of organizations. The Defense Department recently bestowed the Phoenix Award on an MH-60R squadron. The award is notable not only because it recognizes outstanding performance in field-level maintenance, but because this is the first and only helicopter squadron in the history of the award to receive the honor.

In early November, Aviation Week & Space Technology magazine’s Program Excellence Awards selected the MH-60 Multi-Year Production contract to receive a number of accolades – two of 22 best practice awards (one for cost estimation and the second for supply chain collaboration) and a System Level Production award went to the MH-60R team at Lockheed Martin.

MH-60 Has What It Takes

Aviation Week honors maritime helicopter team with multiple awards at its annual dinner

Lockheed Martin’s MH-60 Multi-Year Production Program team took home multiple honors at Aviation Week’s annual Program Excellence Awards ceremony held Nov. 7 in Phoenix. Photo courtesy U.S. Navy.

Aviation Week created its Program Excellence Awards to recognize the hard work it takes to manage and lead complex aerospace and defense programs.

At this year’s Aviation Week awards banquet held in Phoenix on Nov. 7, Lockheed Martin’s MH-60 Multi-Year Production Program team showed it has what it takes to manage a complex program, taking home multiple honors.

The MH-60 team won the Program Excellence Award for System Level Production Programs. The team also was received Best Practice Awards in cost estimating and analysis/should-cost and supply chain collaboration/integration.

The Navy is streamlining its helicopter fleet by replacing six existing models with two, the MH-60R and the MH-60S. So far, Lockheed Martin has delivered more than 123 of the planned 300 MH-60Rs.

The MH-60R, commonly referred to as the Romeo, features an array of sophisticated sensors and mission systems, including secure cryptographic radio, satellite and data communications, forward-looking infrared (FLIR) imaging and the latest airborne low-frequency sonar.

In operation since 2006, the MH-60R is the Navy’s most advanced anti-submarine and anti-surface warfare helicopter and also performs search and rescue, vertical replenishment, naval surface fire support, medical evacuation, and communications and data relay missions.

Lockheed Martin provides the digital cockpit common to the MH-60R and MH-60S helicopters, while Sikorsky manufactures the airframe. The companies have co-developed and delivered helicopters for the U.S. Navy for more than 35 years.

MH-60R Helps Thwart Pirates

U.S. maritime helicopter on deployment to multi-national force gathers intel that leads to ship’s rescue

Pirates are finding that merchant ships off the African coast are no longer easy marks.

International cooperative initiatives such as the Combined Task Force (CTF) 151 – a multi-national naval operation formed by the Combined Maritime Forces (CMF) in 2009 – have helped reduce the number of vessels hijacked by pirates.  According to NATO, pirates succeeded in capturing only four vessels in 2011, compared to 26 in both 2009 and 2010.

The counter-piracy benefits of international cooperation were on display again in May during a two-week deployment of U.S. Helicopter Maritime Strike Squadron (HSM) 77, Detachment 5 and its MH-60 R helicopters aboard the CTF 151’s flagship, the United Kingdom’s Royal Fleet Auxiliary’s Fort Victoria.

On May 11, the Fort Victoria received information about the hijacking of a merchant ship in the southern portion of the North Arabian Sea. An HSM-77 MH-60R helicopter was dispatched to gather critical data and intelligence that enabled a coalition boarding party to rescue the hijacked ship later that day, according to a U.S. Navy web article. Continue reading

Keeping the MH-60Rs Flying

For past four months, HSM-77 aviation techs maintain Romeo helicopters at 100 percent mission capable status

MH-60

HSM 77 Aviation electronics technicians on the aircraft carrier USS Abraham Lincoln have maintained the MH-60R maritime helicopters at 100 percent mission capable status for the past four months.

When the U.S. Fifth Fleet faces trouble from surface ships or submarines, it relies on Helicopter Maritime Strike Squadron (HSM)- 77 and its MH-60R Seahawks  to keep it out of harm’s way.

To ensure the helicopters can answer the call to duty, the squadron relies on its aviation electronics technicians (ATs). For the past four months during its deployment aboard the aircraft carrier USS Abraham Lincoln, HSM- 77 ATs have maintained the MH-60R maritime helicopters at 100 percent mission capable status.

“In order for us to successfully execute our primary missions, our aircraft must be 100 percent mission capable, and our aviation electronic technicians play a critical role in ensuring our aircraft combat readiness,” said Cmdr. Brent Gaut, HSM-77’s commanding officer. “Our platform and its mission systems are AT-intensive; it is crucial our ATs maintain a robust level of knowledge and subject matter expertise in order to effectively address time-critical malfunctions.”

The MH-60R, commonly referred to as the Romeo, features an array of sophisticated sensors and mission systems, including secure cryptographic radio, satellite and data communications, forward-looking infrared (FLIR) imaging and the latest airborne low-frequency sonar.

Since deploying in December 2011 with Carrier Air Wing 2, HSM- 77 has flown more than 450 sorties from the Lincoln while navigating through the Strait of Hormuz and supporting Operation Enduring Freedom in the Arabian Sea. During that time, no flights have been cancelled due to mission system failures.

Lockheed Martin integrates the MH-60R’s electronics and other systems, including the Common Cockpit Avionics Suite – the Romeo’s nerve center. Sikorsky manufactures the airframe. The Navy is streamlining its helicopter fleet by replacing six existing models with two, the MH-60R and the MH-60S. So far, Lockheed Martin has delivered more than 123 of the planned 300 MH-60Rs.

In operation since 2006, the MH-60R is the Navy’s most advanced anti-submarine and anti-surface warfare helicopter and also performs search and rescue, vertical replenishment, naval surface fire support, medical evacuation, and communications and data relay missions.

Multi-Year Buy Generates MH-60 Savings for Navy

New contract lowers the cost of mission systems and sensors for MH-60R, MH-60S helicopters

Lockheed Martin will deliver more than 200 Common Cockpits for the MH-60R and MH-60 S multi-mission maritime helicopters as part of a 5-year contract recently awarded by the Navy. Photo courtesy U.S. Navy.

In its continuing effort toward increased affordability, the U.S. Navy is taking an approach similar to big box stores that rely on economies of scale to obtain the best possible price from their vendors.

The Navy recently awarded Lockheed Martin a five-year, $1.05 billion contract for more than 200 digital cockpits and integrated mission systems and sensors for its MH-60 maritime helicopters, securing a lower price in return for a longer term commitment.

“This contract award ensures we will continue to deliver quality aircraft to our U.S. Navy customer on time and on budget,” said Dan Spoor, vice president of aviation systems for Lockheed Martin’s Mission Systems & Sensors business. “And the multi-year structure allows us to pass on to our customer more than 10 percent savings versus an annual contract, surpassing Pentagon cost predictions.”

A multi-year procurement contract such as this one must meet rigorous criteria before being approved by Congress, including being able to demonstrate double-digit cost savings.

The Navy is streamlining its helicopter fleet by replacing six existing models with just two, the MH-60R and the MH-60S. So far, Lockheed Martin has delivered more than 123 of the planned 300 MH-60Rs. The recent contract includes purchasing 162 cockpits, integrated missions systems and sensors for the MH-60R anti-surface and anti-submarine warfare helicopter.

In addition, 62 digital cockpits will help complete the Navy’s planned acquisition of 275 MH-60S helicopters, used for ship-to-ship cargo resupply, search and rescue, humanitarian relief and close-in defense of Navy ships.

The award combines the digital cockpits and the integrated mission systems into a single contract. Previously, Lockheed Martin delivered cockpits and mission systems for the Sikorsky-built aircraft under separate contracts.

Lockheed Martin serves as the integrator for the MH-60 Common Cockpit Avionics Suite – the nerve center of the Sierra and Romeo – and other systems, while Sikorsky manufactures the airframe. The companies have co-developed and delivered helicopters for the U.S. Navy for more than 35 years.

Ferra, LMI Join MH-60R Team

Lockheed Martin delivers on commitment to support Australian industry with Ferra selection to build Romeo shipsets

Lockheed Martin selected Australia’s Ferra Engineering and Missouri’s LMI to build 120 shipsets for the MH-60R maritime helicopter. The two companies will split the MH-60R work worth an anticipated value of approximately $12 million (US). Photo courtesy U.S. Navy.

In January 2011, Lockheed Martin signed a Global Supply Chain (GSC) Deed with Australia’s Department of Defence, promising to identify business opportunities for Australian companies. This week, Lockheed Martin made good on that commitment, selecting Ferra Engineering of Queensland, Australia, as one of two companies to build 120 shipsets for the MH-60R maritime helicopter, known as the Romeo.

Ferra and LMI Aerospace of Missouri will split the MH-60R work worth an anticipated value of approximately US$12 million. The shipsets include weapons pylons for the Romeos’ left and right sides and mission kit assemblies.

“Lockheed Martin is committed to promoting a strong Australian industrial base,” said Dan Spoor, vice president of aviation systems for Lockheed Martin’s Mission Systems & Sensors. “This agreement positions Ferra and LMI to perform work not only for the MH-60R helicopters being built for Australia, but also for existing and future Romeos as well. It gives Ferra and Australia an opportunity to show the rest of the world just how good their aerospace industry is.”

Last June, Australia announced its plans to purchase 24 MH-60Rs from the U.S. Navy to replace 16 existing S-70B-2 Seahawk helicopters in operation since the late 1980s. The first two Romeos are scheduled for delivery in December 2013. Lockheed Martin performs the mission package integration work on the MH-60R, while Sikorsky Aircraft Corporation builds the airframe.

Ferra specializes in the design, manufacture, assembly and test of aerospace structures and sub-systems for Australian and international defense and aerospace companies. It has developed high speed machining processes for aerospace materials and is also working with Lockheed Martin on the F-35 Lightning II 5th Generation multirole fighter.

Founded in 1948, LMI Aerospace fabricates, machines, finishes and integrates formed, close tolerance aluminum and specialty alloy components and sheet metal products primarily for large commercial, corporate and military aircraft.

Under the GSC Deed, Lockheed Martin will continue working to establish long-term partnerships with Australian companies so they can compete for subcontracts on a full range of the company’s products and services.

MH-60S, Fire Scout Expand Horizons

Navy demonstration enables maritime helicopter to communicate with UAV for first time

From the crow’s nest to scout planes to radar, navy ships have continually looked for ways to expand their view of the horizon and tackle the threats that lurk beyond.

The U.S. Navy now has the opportunity to enhance the situational awareness of the surface fleet, after a successful demonstration linking the MH-60S maritime helicopter with the Fire Scout unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) for the first time.

Currently, the Fire Scout and MH-60S often operate in tandem but cannot communicate with each other. The intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance data the Fire Scout gathers must be sent back to the ship before being transmitted to the MH-60S and other platforms. In addition, controllers on board ship direct the Fire Scout, which limits its range.

The Navy and industry partners Lockheed Martin, L-3 and Telephonics flew four flights in October 2011 at the Navy’s Patuxent River Naval Air Station in Southern Maryland. The team designed, built, coordinated and flew the test within nine months, representing lightning-quick turnaround on a complex technology insertion demonstration.

The Navy provided its Fire Scout asset, Lockheed Martin coordinated with the industry team to install equipment on board the MH-60S, including the Telephonics radar and the L3 VORTEX data link installed on the MH-60 Sierra.  The Fire Scout is already equipped with an L3 VORTEX data link, which it used to transmit and receive data during the test.
Allowing the two platforms to communicate could vastly improve situational awareness and reduce risk by increasing the Fire Scout’s range while keeping the MH-60S crew out of reach of potential danger. The live FLIR (forward looking infrared) video feed permits a quick situational assessment and faster reaction times since the crew receives an instant, simultaneous feed of radar for broad area surveillance. The Fire Scout also can designate a target for the MH-60S, creating a hunter-killer team to protect the ship.

MH-60R Staying on the Cutting Edge

Maritime helicopter among the products Lockheed Martin to feature at SNA’s National Symposium

To ensure the first MH-60R maritime helicopters remain as capable as the latest models, the Navy recently contracted with Lockheed Martin to integrate software upgrades to the existing aircrafts’ sensor systems. Photo credit of U.S. Navy

The first MH-60R maritime helicopter entered the U.S. Navy fleet in 2005. Since then, the Navy has deployed more than 100 of the 300 planned aircraft that will serve as the foundation of the U.S. Navy’s Helicopter Master Plan for the next several decades.

To ensure the first MH-60Rs remain as capable as the latest models, the Navy recently awarded Lockheed Martin contracts valued at $52 million to integrate software upgrades to the existing MH-60R sensor systems.

“The demands on naval aviation are growing and we take our responsibility to invest in the MH-60R fleet very seriously,” said Capt. James Glass, the U.S. Navy’s MH-60 program manager. “We have more than 100 Romeos in service today, and it is imperative that our aircrews have access to the latest in technology and systems.”

Lockheed Martin integrates the MH-60R’s Common Cockpit Avionics Suite – the Romeo’s nerve center – and other systems, while Sikorsky manufactures the airframe. The MH-60R will be among a number of Lockheed Martin products featured at the annual Surface Navy Association’s 2012 National Symposium held in Washington Jan. 10-12.

The MH-60R upgrades include:

  • A $30 million contract modification for the Situational Awareness Technology Insertion package’s software and mission management systems.
  • A $14 million, 16-month development contract to design the Identification Friend-or-Foe Interrogator Subsystem, which when combined with the Automatic Radar Periscope Detection and Discrimination system will expand the MH-60R’s range of detection and lessen interference with civil air traffic control systems.
  • Two contracts totaling more than $4 million to upgrade the MH-60R Electronic Surveillance Measures (ESM) system’s threat-warning capabilities. One contract covers the installation and maintenance of an ESM autoloader, while the second will develop a database of possible threats within a specific operational region.
  • An additional $4 million in awards cover the integration of a new multi-function radio called the ARC210 Gen 5 (which sister-aircraft MH-60S will also receive), spare assemblies and integration of other core technologies.

Lockheed Martin at SNA

The Surface Navy Association’s 24th annual National Symposium runs from Jan. 10-12 at the Hyatt Regency Crystal City in Arlington, Va., and Lockheed Martin will have a significant presence at the show.

The products featured at the Lockheed Martin booth, located on the Atrium level left of the escalator, include:
Aegis Ashore
Aegis Ballistic Missile Defense
Aegis Modernization
Air and Missile Defense Radar (AMDR)
Consolidated Afloat Networks and Enterprise Services (CANES)
Littoral Combat Ship
Long Range Anti-Ship Missile (LRASM)
Long Range Land Attack Projectile (LRLAP)
MH-60R Maritime Helicopter
Remote Minehunting System
Surface Electronic Warfare Improvement Program
• Synthetic Combat Operator Trainer

U.S. Plans to Offer MH-60R to South Korea

Lockheed-Sikorsky aircraft  on display at Seoul International Aerospace & Defense International Exhibition

South Korea may be in the market for a new maritime helicopter, and the U.S. Navy believes the MH-60R – developed by Lockheed Martin and Sikorsky – fits the bill. The Navy will showcase the MH-60R at the Seoul International Aerospace & Defense Exhibition Oct. 18-23.

With more than 100 delivered already, the MH-60R multi-purpose maritime helicopter is a third of the way to fulfilling the U.S. Navy’s master plan to replace its aging fleet of rotary aircraft by 2018. In June, Australia announced its plans to purchase 24 MH-60Rs. And now, U.S. officials are hoping South Korea will soon join the growing MH-60R family.

The Republic of Korea (ROK) Navy is expected to solicit proposals for its Maritime Operations Helicopter Program next year. The U.S. Navy plans to offer the South Koreans the MH-60R – developed by Lockheed Martin and Sikorsky – through the Foreign Military Sales program and will display the helicopter at the Seoul International Aerospace & Defense Exhibition Oct. 18-23. Continue reading

MH-60 Helicopter Takes Off for Thailand

U.S. Navy delivers two maritime helicopters to Thai Navy as part of first MH-60 Foreign Military Sale

MH-60-Thailand

The first of two MH-60S helicopters land at the Port of Baltimore from Lockheed Martin’s Owego, NY, facility on the first leg of their journey to the Royal Thai Navy. This marks the U.S. Navy’s first Foreign Military Sale of the MH-60 maritime helicopters.

While many view the summer as a time for rest and relaxation, the MH-60 maritime helicopter program continues full speed ahead. The program recorded another major milestone recently when the first two Foreign Military Sale MH-60S, or “Sierra,” helicopters began their journey to the Royal Thai Navy.

The helicopters began the first leg of their journey to Thailand with a “fly off” on August 8 from Lockheed Martin’s facility in Owego, N.Y.  They flew to the Port of Baltimore in Maryland, where they will eventually depart for Thailand.

“MH-60S ‘Sierra’ helicopters have proven to be highly reliable utility aircraft for the U.S. Navy fleet,” said Michael Sears, the U.S. Navy’s international H-60 deputy program manager. “We are honored to provide Thailand with the same capability, along with pilot and maintainer training, spares and logistical support.”

The Thai government submitted a request to the United States for the purchase of two MH-60 Sierra helicopters, each featuring Lockheed Martin’s Common Cockpit integrated into the Sikorsky-made airframe. Once the request was approved, Lockheed Martin’s MH-60 team in Owego, N.Y., incorporated a new communications radio and an air traffic control upgrade into the two aircraft.

Once the helicopters arrive, the Royal Thai Navy will add them to its search and rescue fleet as part of a fleet modernization plan. Thailand has expressed interest in purchasing additional MH-60S aircraft from the U.S. Navy.

The MH-60S helicopter features extensive airframe commonality and shares the same Lockheed Martin Common Cockpit™ avionic suite with the U.S. Navy’s MH-60R ‘Romeo’ anti-submarine and anti-surface warfare helicopter. To date, the two multi-role aircraft have logged 450,000 flight hours with the digital cockpit, which helps pilots easily perform a range of maritime missions.

This has been a busy summer for the MH-60 program. In June, Lockheed Martin delivered the 100th MH-60R to the U.S. Navy. A week earlier, Australia selected the MH-60R to fulfill its Defence Force’s requirement for a fleet of 24 new-generation, multi-role naval combat aircraft. Australia will acquire the helicopters through the U.S. Government’s Foreign Military Sales program. Sikorsky also celebrated the production of 300 MH-60 multi-mission helicopters for the U.S. Navy in late April.