Home' Asia Pacific Defence Reporter : APDR Dec13/Jan14 Contents Naval aviatioN
and MH-60R platform offers, some officers indulged
in the wishful thinking of having Lockheed Martin
mission systems placed in MRH-90 airframes!
Running through a list of the installed mission
systems could make even an experienced RAN
aviator feel like a child in a lolly shop. The capabilities
are very sophisticated and wide-ranging.
The helicopter is equipped for a range of missions
including surveillance; anti-submarine warfare (ASW);
anti-surface warfare (ASuW); maritime interdiction;
naval gunfire support (NGFS); battle damage
assessment; communications relay; search and
rescue (SAR); medical evacuation; logistics support;
personnel transfer; and vertical replenishment
(VERTREP). For VERTREP missions, the helicopter
has a 2,722kg (6,000lb) cargo hook.
Fitted with dual controls, in Australian service
the Seahawk Romeo will be flown by a pilot, with
an Aviation Warfare Officer (AvWO) alongside.
Additional crew operate systems in the aircraft’s
cabin, which has space for three or four flight crew
and five passengers.
A fully integrated multifunction digital glass cockpit
is equipped with four full colour mission and flight
displays that are night vision goggle compatible and
readable in full sunlight. The pilot, AvWO and other
aircrew have common programmable keysets, a
mass memory unit, mission and flight management
computers and Seahawk Romeo dedicated
Flight navigation uses a non-dithered Northrop
Grumman LN-100G dual-embedded global
positioning system and inertial navigation system.
This is ideally suited for use with underwater systems
due to the absence of acoustic noise which could
interfere with sub-hunting missions.
The fully digital communications suite and
management system is from Telephonics. It provides
Link 16; ARC-210 radios for voice over UHF / VHF
and satellite communications; and a Harris Hawklink
Ku-band datalink for radar, FLIR, voice, acoustics,
ESM and mission display.
The Seahawk Romeo is fitted with the Raytheon
AAS-44 detecting / tracking system. This multi-
spectral targeting system (MTS) uses advanced
forward-looking infrared (FLIR); visible electro-optical
(EO) imagery; and laser designation and illumination;
to deliver superior detecting, ranging, and tracking
capability. The MTS provides these capabilities to
assist planning and launching HELLFIRE and laser
The MH-60R uses Telephonics APS-147
multimode radar, which has inverse synthetic aperture
(ISAR) imaging and periscope and small target
detection capabilities. This unit provides both the
helicopter, and by data link to its mother ship, littoral
and maritime domain awareness for these fighting
Radar operators can classify detected moving ship
targets under night and restricted visibility using the
high resolution ISAR mode. This mode allows the
MH-60R to operate outside of visual and lethal range
of a potential enemy, and to identify detected targets
when images are combined with other intelligence.
Lockheed Martin was awarded a contract in July
2008 to develop a new radar system, APS-153 radar,
with an automatic radar periscope detection and
discrimination (ARPDD) capability.
For anti-submarine warfare (ASW) missions the
helicopter is equipped with a sonobuoy launcher
and a Raytheon AQS-22 advanced airborne
low-frequency dipping sonar (ALFS). This passive
integrated dipping sonar system enables the Seahawk
Romeo to accomplish its assigned ASW missions
of submarine detection, tracking, localisation and
classification. It also performs missions relating to
acoustic intercept, underwater communications and
environmental data acquisition.
Raytheon was recently awarded an $US 80.8
million contract modification from the USN in support
of a Foreign Military Sale of the AQS-22 ALFS to the
Royal Australian Navy.
On the production line Lockheed Martin add right
and left weapon pylons to the helicopter for carrying
torpedos, Hellfire missiles, and other ordnance.
These are manufactured by Australian advanced
engineering firm, Ferra. In 2012 they won a $6
million contract to supply pylons and mission kits for
all MH-60Rs being completed at Owego, not just the
In US Navy service, the MH-60R will carry up
to three ATK MK-50 or MK-46 active / passive
lightweight torpedoes. Australia is taking a different
course, seeking commonality with the MK-54
torpedos to be carried on its future P-8A maritime
In July 2013 the US Defence Security Cooperation
Agency announced that Australia had requested a
large number of MK-54 Torpedoes, exercise and test
equipment for its Seahawk Romeos.
For anti-surface warfare (ASuW) missions,
the helicopter can be equipped with a range of
weapons on the four weapons stations, including
eight Lockheed Martin AGM-114 Hellfire anti-surface
missiles. For self-defence, a pintle-mounted 7.62mm
machine gun can be fitted.
The helicopter has a Lockheed Martin ALQ-210
electronic support measures system (ESM) which
provides situational awareness, threat warning and
18 Asia Pacific Defence Reporter Dec - jAn 2014
For anti-surface warfare (ASuW) missions, the helicopter
can be equipped with a range of weapons on the four
weapons stations, including eight Lockheed Martin AGM-
114 Hellfire anti-surface missiles.
An MH-60S Sea Hawk helicopter, foreground, assigned to the Dusty Dogs of Helicopter Sea Combat Squadron (HSC) 7,
and an MH-60R Sea Hawk helicopter, assigned to the Swamp Foxes of Helicopter Maritime Strike Squadron (HMS) 74.
Credit: USN / Karl Anderson
5/12/13 6:42 PM
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