MH-60R…. De­ployed, Op­er­at­ing To­day

SP's NavalForces - - NAVAL HELICOPTERS - PHIL SHAW The writer is Chief Ex­ec­u­tive of Lock­heed Martin In­dia

DE­PLOYED GLOB­ALLY WITH THE US Navy (USN) and a grow­ing num­ber of in­ter­na­tional navies, the MH60R anti-sub­ma­rine war­far ( ASW) and anti-sur­face war­fare ( ASuW) he­li­copter pro­vides un­par­al­leled mar­itime se­cu­rity at sea and in coastal wa­ters. As threats be­come more com­plex, the MH-60R is de­signed to ad­dress the chang­ing de­fence en­vi­ron­ment around the globe.

Man­u­fac­tured by Siko­rsky Air­craft Corp and pro­vided with ad­vanced, fully in­te­grated mis­sion sys­tems and sen­sors by Lock­heed Martin, the MH-60R is op­er­a­tional and has achieved more than 2,50,000 flight hours with the US Navy. In Novem­ber 2014, the Navy re­ceived its 200th air­craft ahead of sched­ule, ex­ceed­ing six sigma qual­ity. Build­ing on a suc­cess­ful de­ploy­ment to South­east Asia with the first lit­toral com­bat ship, USS Free­dom, the sub­ma­rine-hunt­ing MH-60R is cur­rently for­ward op­er­at­ing with lit­toral com­bat ship USS Fort Worth for a 16-month de­ploy­ment, as well as de­ployed to the Western Pa­cific, the Ara­bian Gulf and the Mediter­ranean Sea. The MH-60R seam­lessly in­te­grates into the ships com­bat suite, and pro­vides an ex­ten­sion of the ships own sen­sors and weapons. Its de­ploy­ment sor­tie com­ple­tion rate at 95 per cent is un­sur­passed. Ad­di­tion­ally, our in­ter­na­tional MH-60R team­mates can take full ad­van­tage of the world­wide support struc­ture es­tab­lished by the USN that can support de­ployed MH-60Rs any­where in the world.

Ca­pa­ble of de­tect­ing and prose­cut­ing mod­ern sub­marines in the lit­torals and open ocean, the MH-60R em­ploys its ad­vanced mis­sion sen­sor suite. The suite presents a com­plete pack­age that en­ables the he­li­copter to shift the ad­van­tage from the sub­ma­rine to the air­craft. Its fea­tures in­clude: the APS-153 multi-mode radar with long- and short-range search in­verse syn­thetic aper­ture radar imag­ing and periscope de­tec­tion modes; and a fully in­te­grated acous­tics suite; ad­vanced ALQ-210 elec­tronic support mea­sures sys­tem for radar warn­ing, pas­sive de­tec­tion, lo­ca­tion and iden­ti­fi­ca­tion of emit­ters. All ac­quired sen­sor data is fully in­te­grated into a com­pos­ite pic­ture that pro­vides the op­er­a­tors with ac­tion­able in­for­ma­tion for threat as­sess­ment and su­pe­rior sit­u­a­tional aware­ness. The data is avail­able not only to the MH-60R crew but also through state-of-the-art data links that pro­vide the em­barked warfight­ers real time ac­tion­able, sit­u­a­tional aware­ness of their area of re­spon­si­bil­ity. Ad­di­tion­ally, the MH-60R is equipped with in­te­grated AAS-44C elec­troop­tics/in­frared (EO/IR) sys­tem in­clud­ing day TV, low light TV and for­ward-look­ing in­frared modes for ex­panded night vi­sion and mis­sile-tar­get­ing ca­pa­bil­ity; and a net­work-cen­tric ar­chi­tec­ture that en­hances sit­u­a­tional aware­ness and ex­pands the op­er­a­tional area of in­flu­ence. Since in­duc­tion into the US Navy, the MH-60R has and con­tin­ues to be a game changer across the spec­trum of warfight­ing dis­ci­plines.

With its mod­u­lar de­sign, the MH-60R can adapt its weapon sys­tems to match spe­cific mis­sion re­quire­ments. It pos­sesses the agility to pro­vide greater surveil­lance and flex­i­bil­ity ca­pa­bil­i­ties, as well as more op­tions for mul­ti­ple mis­sion re­quire­ments. While ASW and ASuW are the MH-60Rs pri­mary mis­sions, it also has the ca­pa­bil­ity for sec­ondary mis­sions such as search and res­cue, ver­ti­cal re­plen­ish­ment, naval sur­face fire support, lo­gis­tics support, per­son­nel trans­port, med­i­cal evac­u­a­tion, and VHF/UHF/link com­mu­ni­ca­tion re­lay.

While de­ployed in 2013, the MH-60R pro­vided mar­itime support to the am­phibi­ous force dur­ing the co­op­er­a­tion afloat readi­ness and train­ing ex­er­cises, which in­cluded mis­siles, tor­pe­does or a search and res­cue swimmer, de­pend­ing on the mis­sion at hand. Ad­di­tion­ally, MH-60Rs con­ducted hu­man­i­tar­ian aid mis­sions dur­ing Op­er­a­tion Da­mayan, mov­ing nearly 1 mil­lion pounds of food, wa­ter and medicine in one week, and evac­u­at­ing nearly 350 peo­ple fol­low­ing Ty­phoon Haiyan, demon­strat­ing its sec­ondary mis­sions as a leader in global force for good.

A part­ner­ship on MH-60R will bring jobs and tech­nol­ogy to the coun­try. As op­por­tu­ni­ties de­velop in In­dia, the ex­pe­ri­ence and suc­cess of the Lock­heed Martin and Tata Ad­vanced Sys­tems Limited joint ven­ture in Hy­der­abad sup­port­ing Lock­heed Martins C-130J mil­i­tary trans­port air­craft lends prom­ise and an ex­am­ple of op­por­tu­ni­ties for Lock­heed Martin fu­ture ex­pan­sion and in­vest­ments in In­dia. This joint ven­ture con­tin­ues to pro­duce ex­tremely high qual­ity aero-struc­tures sup­port­ing the world­wide C-130J fleet. That same qual­ity, which in­cludes Lock­heed Martins world lead­ing sys­tems in­te­gra­tion knowl­edge, will con­tinue to be trans­ferred to the In­dian de­fence in­dus­trial base for years to come. In ac­cor­dance with the De­fence Pro­cure­ment Pro­ce­dure, the In­dian Navy will re­ceive ad­vanced MH60R ca­pa­bil­i­ties with the abil­ity to sus­tain the plat­forms in­dige­nously through­out the life of the plat­form. By the end of the NMRH pro­gramme/de­liv­ery of the fi­nal MH-60R to the In­dian Navy, a vast majority of the tech­nol­ogy and man­u­fac­tur­ing will be trans­ferred and man­u­fac­tured by In­dian de­fence and aero­space in­dus­tries.

The first in­ter­na­tional MH-60R part­ner is the Royal Aus­tralian Navy (RAN). The first two air­craft were pro­vided to the RAN in just 29 months after the con­tract was signed be­tween the US and Aus­tralia. To date, the RAN has taken de­liv­ery of nine air­craft, all ahead or on sched­ule, and it has been able to test and demon­strate their ca­pa­bil­i­ties us­ing tor­pe­does and mis­siles. The RAN sur­passed the 1,000 flight hour mile­stone on its MH-60R air­craft within ten months after re­ceiv­ing its first MH-60R, which will be de­ployed on board RAN sur­face com­bat­ants. All 24 MH-60R he­li­copters for the RAN will be de­liv­ered by 2016.

In ad­di­tion to the RAN, the MH-60R was com­pet­i­tively se­lected by the Royal Dan­ish Navy for its fleet. The first Dan­ish air­craft is al­ready fly­ing, only 22 months from the ac­qui­si­tion decision. The Royal Dan­ish Navy will re­ceive three mis­sionised MH-60R he­li­copters in May 2016. In­ter­na­tional MH-60R part­ners can share in the US Navys on­go­ing tech­ni­cal in­ser­tion road map, mit­i­gat­ing ob­so­les­cence and keep­ing pace and ahead of the mar­itime threats for the next 30 years and beyond.

MH-60R is a force mul­ti­plier in the mar­itime do­main!

PHO­TO­GRAPH: Lock­heed Martin

MH-60R op­er­at­ing from LCS

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