Norway requested six Sikorsky MH-60R helicopters, and the US agreed
Norway has requested the purchase of six Sikorsky MH-60R Seahawk multi-mission helicopters from the US. This happened in mid-March when the Norwegian government approved the request. On April 26, the Pentagon, through its Defense Security Cooperation Agency [DSCA], approved the sale of six MH-60R helicopters to Norway.
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This comes almost a year after Oslo decided to cancel its contract with Airbus Helicopters. The Norwegian military was dissatisfied with the Airbus NH90 helicopters. There were several reasons – firstly, the delivery of the 14 helicopters was delayed for years and was completed in eight, and secondly, the promised flying hours on an annual basis turned out to be almost five or six times less.
So, Norway’s desire to find a replacement for European helicopters was already clear. Thus came the decision to have the Sikorsky MH-60R Seahawk replace the Airbus NH90 fleet.
Norway will have to pay $1 billion for the requested six MH-60R helicopters. The sale includes delivery of the six “birds” as well as fifteen T-700-GE-401C engines. The MH-60R’s power unit is made up of two engines, meaning Norway wants three spares.
In the offer, Washington also offers the delivery of all possible communication and navigation systems necessary for the helicopters to carry out their missions. Also included in the package are several onboard low-frequency sonars and encryption devices, as well as pulse cassettes, electronic warfare systems, identifiers, targeting systems, a “friend-foe” system, and more.
How Norway will deploy its new helicopters will be known in the future. It is assumed that the six American helicopters will most likely be in the service of the Norwegian Coast Guard.
About MH60R Seahawk
Currently, 15 countries [excluding Norway] operate this model of helicopters. Norway is the first customer of the Sikorsky MH-60R Seahawk. The helicopter is operated by a crew of two or three and can transport up to five people in the cabin. Each of the two engines provides 1,890 shp [1,410 kW] for take-off.
With a full tank of fuel, the helicopter can cover a maximum distance of 830 km. Maximum flight speed is 146 kn [168 mph, 270 km/h].
The fact that Norway will use the helicopters as part of the coast guard structures means that the MH-60R Seahawk will be armed with torpedoes. He has that opportunity. Separately, the helicopter can carry AGM-114 Hellfire missile, 4 Hellfire missiles for SH-60B and HH-60H, and MH-60R, 8 Hellfire missiles for MH-60S Block III. According to customer requirements, the MH-60R can receive different armaments: M60 machine gun or, M240 machine gun or GAU-16/A machine gun or GAU-17/A Minigun.
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