Greece will be receiving the first three of seven MH-60R Seahawk (Romeo) helicopters within the first few months of 2024, Lockheed Martin confirmed on Wednesday.
A Lockheed Martin statement said Sikorsky had completed the testing of the integrated mission systems and sensors aboard three MH-60R Seahawk helicopters for the Hellenic Navy early in December 2023 and confirmed that each helicopter is ready to perform anti-submarine and anti-surface warfare missions from land or naval ship.
Greece placed separate orders for MH-60R aircraft—four in July 2020 and three in April 2021—as a Foreign Military Sales purchase with the US government. After delivery of the first three, the remaining four will arrive in 2025, the manufacturer said.
Hellenic Navy MH-60R aircraft will join eleven existing S-70B Seahawk aircraft at the Kotroni Naval Air Station near Marathonas in East Attica. Known as “Aegean Hawks,” the older maritime helicopters were acquired directly from Sikorsky between 1994 and 2005.
Greece is the seventh country to receive the U.S. Navy’s MH-60R maritime helicopter. In Europe, Denmark operates nine MH-60R aircraft. Spain and Norway placed orders in 2023 for a combined 14 MH-60R aircraft.
“Commonality of these Hellenic Navy MH-60R Seahawk aircraft with 330 MH-60R and 250 MH-60S Seahawk aircraft, and with the global Black Hawk helicopter fleet, enables Sikorsky and the US Navy to continue sustaining and upgrading this proven weapon system for maximum threat deterrence and operational capability,” Sikorsky President Paul Lemmo said.
Capabilities That Seahawk Helicopters Will Offer Greece
The MH-60 is a twin turboshaft engine, multi-mission United States Navy helicopter based on the United States Army UH-60 Black Hawk and a member of the Sikorsky S-70 family. The most significant modifications are the folding main rotor blades and a hinged tail to reduce its footprint aboard ships.
Able to deploy aboard any air-capable frigate, destroyer, cruiser, fast combat support ship, expeditionary transfer dock, amphibious assault ship, littoral combat ship, or aircraft carrier, the Seahawk can handle anti-submarine warfare (ASW), anti-surface warfare (ASUW), naval special warfare (NSW) insertion, search and rescue (SAR), combat search and rescue (CSAR), vertical replenishment (VERTREP), and medical evacuation (MEDEVAC).
Lockheed Martin’s announcement follows the decision by the US State Department to approve the sale of up to forty F-35 fighter jets and respective equipment to Greece in an $8.6 billion deal.
“This proposed sale will support the foreign policy goals and national security of the United States by improving the air capabilities and interoperability of a NATO Ally that is a force for political and economic stability in Europe,” the State Department commented in its respective announcement.