Multi-Year Buy Generates MH-60 Savings for Navy

New contract lowers the cost of mission systems and sensors for MH-60R, MH-60S helicopter



Lockheed Martin will deliver more than 200 Common Cockpits for the MH-60R and MH-60 S multi-mission maritime helicopters as part of a 5-year contract recently awarded by the Navy.

In its continuing effort toward increased affordability, the U.S. Navy is taking an approach similar to big box stores that rely on economies of scale to obtain the best possible price from their vendors.

The Navy recently awarded Lockheed Martin a five-year, $1.05 billion contract for more than 200 digital cockpits and integrated mission systems and sensors for its MH-60 maritime helicopters, securing a lower price in return for a longer term commitment.

“This contract award ensures we will continue to deliver quality aircraft to our U.S. Navy customer on time and on budget,” said Dan Spoor, vice president of aviation systems for Lockheed Martin’s Mission Systems & Sensors business. “And the multi-year structure allows us to pass on to our customer more than 10 percent savings versus an annual contract, surpassing Pentagon cost predictions.”

A multi-year procurement contract such as this one must meet rigorous criteria before being approved by Congress, including being able to demonstrate double-digit cost savings.

The Navy is streamlining its helicopter fleet by replacing six existing models with just two, the MH-60R and the MH-60S. So far, Lockheed Martin has delivered more than 123 of the planned 300 MH-60Rs. The recent contract includes purchasing 162 cockpits, integrated missions systems and sensors for the MH-60R anti-surface and anti-submarine warfare helicopter.

In addition, 62 digital cockpits will help complete the Navy’s planned acquisition of 275 MH-60S helicopters, used for ship-to-ship cargo resupply, search and rescue, humanitarian relief and close-in defense of Navy ships.

The award combines the digital cockpits and the integrated mission systems into a single contract. Previously, Lockheed Martin delivered cockpits and mission systems for the Sikorsky-built aircraft under separate contracts.

Lockheed Martin serves as the integrator for the MH-60 Common Cockpit Avionics Suite – the nerve center of the Sierra and Romeo – and other systems, while Sikorsky manufactures the airframe. The companies have co-developed and delivered helicopters for the U.S. Navy for more than 35 years.

Posted April 5, 2012