The US State Department has approved the sale of six Sikorsky MH-60R Seahawk helicopters to Norway, following the Norwegian government’s decision on the helicopter type in mid-March.
With a price tag of $1 billion, the sale approval includes six MH-60R helicopters, including T-700-GE-401C engines, Link 16 radio systems, airborne low-frequency sonars, and various other spare parts, training equipment, and technical support services.
The sale approval follows Oslo’s cancellation of its contract with Airbus Helicopters, as the Norwegian military expressed dissatisfaction with the Airbus NH90 helicopters for reasons that included significant delivery delays, with the 14-helicopter order taking eight years to complete, and significant shortfall in the promised annual flying hours.
Lockheed Martin Rotary and Mission Systems, based in Owego, New York, would serve as the main contractor. The Scandinavian country expects to receive the helicopters as early as 2025.
As previously reported, the Norwegian Coast Guard will be the primary user of the helicopters at first, but the helicopters will also be outfitted with anti-submarine equipment.
The MH-60R Seahawk helicopter is designed to operate from frigates, destroyers, cruisers, and aircraft carriers. It has a speed of 180 knots (267km/h) and is equipped with a cargo hook that can support a weight of 2,721.55 kg (6,000 lb). According to the company, the helicopter has reached a milestone of over 600,000 global fleet hours with more than 300 operations worldwide.