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29 Sep 2022

Lockheed Martin awarded $503M contract to produce helicopters in Owego for Australian Navy

Lockheed Martin has been awarded a $503 million contract to produce 12 Sikorsky MH-60R Seahawk helicopters in Owego.

The U.S. Navy recently awarded the firm-fixed-price contract via the Foreign Military Sales agreement. The MH-60R helicopters will be produced for the Royal Australian Navy and add a third “Romeo” squadron to the RAN’s Fleet Air Arm. The RAN previously acquired 24 MH-60R helicopters from 2013 to 2016.

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) called the contract a “major victory” for Lockheed Martin’s Owego workforce that will protect manufacturing jobs in the Southern Tier and enhance the national security of the U.S. and its allies. The majority of the work on the MH-60R will be completed in Owego, with additional work performed at Lockheed facilities in Connecticut and Alabama.

“Lockheed Martin employs more than 2,500 people in the Southern Tier and has significantly contributed to the regional economy,” said Schumer. “I applaud the Navy’s significant investment in Lockheed Martin and the outstanding workforce right here in the Southern Tier.”

All 12 new MH-60R helicopters are planned for delivery between mid-2025 and mid-2026. The additions to the Royal Australian Navy are expected to “create a common fleet of maritime helicopters supporting all of the RAN’s air capable platforms,” according to a release.

The MH-60R is touted as the world’s most advanced maritime helicopter. It can operate from aircraft carriers, frigates, destroyers and cruisers, and has anti-submarine, anti-surface and search-and-rescue capabilities.

“The ‘Romeo’ Seahawk helicopter instills confidence in navies worldwide for its high operational availability in the harsh maritime environment, and for the fully integrated mission systems and sensors that quickly generate a complete picture of the surface and subsurface domains,” said Hamid Salim, vice president, Sikorsky Maritime & Mission Systems. “We thank the RAN for showing confidence in the broad mission flexibility of this proven multi-role helicopter."

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