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South Korea chose the American-made MH-60R SeaHawk as new naval helicopter


According to information published by the South Korean DAPA (Defense Acquisition Program Administration) on December 15, 2020, the American-made MH-60R SeaHawk naval helicopter has been chosen for the South Korean Maritime Operational Helicopter-II program.
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Russian Vyborg Shipyard laid the Purga ice class coastguard ship of project 23550 925 001 A U.S. Sailor signals an MH-60R Sea Hawk helicopter, assigned to the Australian Navy "Convicts" of 816 SQN Flight 3, on the flight deck of the aircraft carrier USS Nimitz (CVN 68) while participating in Malabar 2020 in the Indian Ocean. (Picture source U.S. Navy)


In August 2019, the U.S. State Department has made a determination approving a possible Foreign Military Sale to the Republic of Korea of MH-60R Multi-Mission Naval Helicopters with support for an estimated cost of $800 million.

The Republic of Korea has requested to buy twelve MH-60R Multi-Mission Helicopters, equipped with combat equipment as well as spare engine containers; facilities study; design and construction; spare and repair parts; support and test equipment; communications equipment; ferry support; publications and technical documentation; personnel training and training equipment; U.S. Government and contractor engineering, technical, and logistics support services; and other related elements of logistics and program support.

The proposed sale will improve the Republic of Korea Navy’s capability to perform anti-surface and anti-submarine warfare missions, along with the ability to perform secondary missions including vertical replenishment, search and rescue, and communications relay. The prime contractor will be Lockheed Martin Rotary and Mission Systems, Owego, New York.

The Sikorsky MH-60 Seahawk is a twin turboshaft engine, multi-mission helicopter based on the UH-60 Black Hawk and a member of the Sikorsky S-70 family. The most significant modifications are the folding main rotor and a hinged tail to reduce its footprint aboard ships.

The avionics of MH-60R includes dual controls and instead of the complex array of dials and gauges in Bravo and Foxtrot aircraft, 4 fully integrated 8" x 10" night vision goggle-compatible and sunlight-readable color multi-function displays, all part of glass cockpit produced by Owego Helo Systems division of Lockheed Martin.

The MH-60R can be armed can be equipped with a range of weapons on the four weapons stations, including Lockheed Martin AGM-114 Hellfire anti-surface missiles. For anti-submarine warfare, the MH-60R can carry up to three ATK mk50 or mk46 active/passive lightweight torpedoes. The side of the helicopter can be fitted with a pintle-mounted weapon station armed with a 7.62mm machine gun.