Home Americas Denmark orders low frequency sonars, sonobuoys for Seahawk fleet

Denmark orders low frequency sonars, sonobuoys for Seahawk fleet

US Navy file photo of an MH-60R Sea Hawk helicopter launching a sonobuoy during ASW training

Denmark’s defense procurement agency has ordered torpedoes, airborne low frequency sonars and sonobuoys for its MH-60R Seahawk helicopters.

Denmark is buying the equipment to prepare its fleet of nine Seahawks for the anti-submarine warfare role after receiving the final two units in 2018.

As noted by the Danish defense ministry, the helicopters are already prepared for sonar equipment and torpedoes, so the actual modification of the helicopters to the ASW role will primarily focus on software updates.

Training by the US Navy and updating of the Seahawk simulator is expected to begin in 2022, while the sonars, sonobuoys and torpedoes are expected to be delivered between 2023 and 2026.

The main contractor will be Lockheed Martin.

The April 6 order comes after the US State Department cleared Denmark’s purchase of a total of nine AN/AQS-22 airborne low frequency sonar (ALFS) systems and six hundred AN/SSQ-36/53/62 sonobuoys for an estimated cost of $200 million in August 2019.

Flown by the Danish Navy’s Air Squadron 723, the MH-60R Seahawks support maritime surveillance, force protection and utility transport operations, in addition to supporting NATO anti-piracy operations.

Denmark joined Australia in 2017 as the second foreign customer of the US Navy’s MH-60R “Romeo” Seahawk helicopter.

The country’s preparations for the operation of the helicopters have resulted in one of the most impressive at-sea helicopter landings recorded. Below is a 2016 video of an MH-60R Seahawk landing on a Danish Navy Thetis-class arctic patrol ship around the Faroe Islands in extreme conditions.