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April 25, 2013
CAPT Scott Lockey
NAVY’S first MH-60R Seahawk
Romeo is taking shape in the US
having just completed a road trip
from Troy in Alabama to Stratford
in Connecticut where the second of
three assembly phases has started.
The helicopter is manufactured
by two prime contractors in the US
– Sikorsky Aircraft Corporation and
Each aircraft takes 14 months to
manufacture, with assembly occur-
ring in three sites in the US.
The first four RAN Romeos are
in various stages of production and
were recently inspected by members
of the Air 9000 Phase 8 Resident
Project Team on a compliance assur-
ance visit to the Sikorsky production
facility in Troy.
Resident Project Team Leader
CMDR Nyree Cornelius was the first
RAN member to see the Romeo in
production and said seeing them in-
person really struck home how real
and close this new capability was to
“The MH-60R Seahawk Romeo
is no longer just the ‘selected solu-
tion’ for the RAN’s future anti-
submarine and anti-surface warfare
capability,” CMDR Cornelius said.
“This capability is now coming
and it is coming fast, with aircraft
production on track for Navy accept-
ance of the first two helicopters in
December this year.”
The first RAN aircraft in produc-
tion is the 168th Romeo to be man-
ufactured. R168, will be known as
N48-001 once in service.
“Inspecting the first RAN Romeo
on completion of its first stage of
production is a memory I will no
doubt treasure, and spin yarns about,
for years to come,” CMDR Cornelius
“The DMO, CDG, RAN, US Navy
and its contractors have been working
hard since the Government approved
this acquisition, but 2013 is clearly
the make or break year.
“The current concerted, coopera-
tive and focused team efforts being
made by all parties will need to con-
tinue throughout 2013 to ensure the
successful delivery of this capability
and that the MH-60R in-service date
can be achieved in early 2014.”
N48-001 is now on Sikorsky’s
final assembly line in Stratford where
it is being fitted with engines, gear-
boxes and the Lockheed Martin pro-
duced ‘Common Cockpit’.
Project Air 9000 Phase 8 was
approved by Government in June 2011
at a cost of $3.2 billion. The project
will acquire 24 Romeos, a range of
training devices and mission and sup-
port systems from the US Navy via a
Foreign Military Sales agreement.
The Romeo will deliver Navy’s
embarked aviation combat capability
for the next 30 years.
400 REASONS TO
LOCKHEED Martin delivered its 400th
Common Cockpit avionics suite to the
US Navy on February 26.
The cockpit is common to both the
MH-60R Seahawk Romeo and the US
Navy’s MH-60S Maritime Support heli-
copter and includes four large, flat-panel,
colour display screens, which provide the
crew with instant updates on everything
from weather to weapons and sensors.
Former WOATV Andrew Roach, of
the Air 9000 Phase 8 Resident Project
Team, saw the RAN Common Cockpit
installed on a test bench ready for
“It was a clear reflection of the
advancement in avionics systems since
the days of the S-70B-2. The four full-
colour mission displays and associated
components appear nothing out of the
ordinary in terms of hardware, however,
when the system is powered up and
operating, it is then you can really begin
to appreciate the next generation in
cockpit design,” Mr Roach said.
“Clearly the cockpit is all about oper-
ating and fighting the Seahawk Romeo
and its sensors and weapons. It will also
provide an important tool for mainte-
nance to access and assess the many
on board systems.”
Lockheed Mar tin’s 400th cockpit will
shortly be installed in N48-001.
MAKING HISTORY: Inset,
CMDR Andy Lynch, CMDR
Nyree Cornelius and Jason
Lambert, of Sikorsky, in front
of the RAN’s first Romeo,
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