MH-60R Staying on the Cutting Edge

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


file 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.

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.