Spain buys MH-60R helicopters, Hellfire AGMs, WGU-59/B weapon systems

WASHINGTON — The United States has approved a possible sale of eight maritime MH-60R Seahawk to Spain, has learned, citing a statement from the Defense Security Cooperation Agency [DSCA]. The agency says the deal is approximately $ 950 million.

Photo credit: US Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Alex Corona

In addition to the helicopters, Madrid will acquire twenty T-700-GE-401C engines, 32 Hellfire air-to-ground missiles, 100 WGU-59 / B Advanced Precision Kill Weapon System [APKWS] II, integrated Link 16, communication and data channel, NATO standard), several radio systems, targeted sonar, ammunition, missile launchers, M152 High Explosive warheads, warning, radar and navigation systems, as well as crypto control modules, etc.

The United States is committed to training Spanish personnel to operate the ordered helicopters, as well as engineering and technical support for the ordered equipment, integration, and testing. These services are also included in the total value of the contract.

The State Department said in a statement that the purchase of the eight MH-60R helicopters would improve Spain’s combat capability and increase its capabilities in countering warships or submarines. In addition to fighting, Madrid will be able to use helicopters for search and rescue. The contractor is Lockheed Martin Rotary and Mission Systems, Owego, NY.

Spain buys MH-60R helicopters, Hellfire AGMs, WGU-59/B weapon system
Photo credit: Al Defaiya

WGU-59 / B weapon system

WGU-59 / B Advanced Precision Kill Weapon System [APKWS] II is a system that allows combat aircraft operators to convert an unguided missile into a guided missile through a laser guidance kit. The most common unguided missiles are Hydra 70.

The APKWS II system consists of a launch platform, missiles equipped with a medium guidance body WGU-59 / B, an extended 7-tube missile system LAU-68 F / A, a target stick SCS 7, and missile storage kits and kits for targeting Fastpack PA-140 and CNU-711 / E.

Specifically, the WGU-59 / B is equipped with DASALS optics, which unfolds 0.5 seconds after launch and is attached between the Mk 66 Mod 4 rocket engine and a warhead and fuse, which increases the length by 18.5 inches [47 cm] and weight by 9 pounds [4.1 kg] compared to the inherited Hydra system.

Spain buys MH-60R helicopters, Hellfire AGMs, WGU-59/B weapon system
Photo credit: Defense Media Network

The firing range is 1100-5000 meters, the first of which can be hit in less than 5 seconds after firing. The maximum range is limited by the use of the existing Hydra 70 engine, but since the searcher can see up to 14 km [8.7 miles], a more powerful engine could extend the range while maintaining accuracy.


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