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Celebrating a Century of Security: Sending Skippy to the Sky


One hundred years after the Australian’s first fleet of seven cruisers and destroyers sailed into the Sydney Harbour, the nation is hosting the International Fleet Review to celebrate and commemorate the centenary of the Royal Australian Navy. As a part of the Pacific International Maritime Exposition, naval institutions from around the globe embarked on the journey to the Sydney Harbour, where more than 40 warships and 16 tall ships participated in the fleet review.

Just two short months after the RAN celebrates its 100-year anniversary, Lockheed Martin will deliver the first mission-ready MH-60R helicopters to the RAN. These four helicopters will be the inaugural installment to the fleet that will contain 24 new-generation multi-role naval combat aircraft by 2016.

The U.S. Navy’s MH-60 “Romeo” donned a new addition to its side when it took to the sky for flight testing this summer. Skippy, the signature kangaroo that designates the N48-001 helicopter as belonging to the RAN posed proudly on the MH-60R as a token to the partnership that promises international maritime excellence.

The MH-60R is the most capable and mature Anti-Submarine (ASW)/Anti-Surface Warfare (ASuW) multi-mission helicopter available in the world today. Manufactured by Sikorsky Aircraft Corp, and equipped with advanced mission systems and sensors by Lockheed Martin Mission Systems and Training (MST), the MH-60R is capable of detecting and prosecuting modern submarines in littoral and open ocean scenarios. Secondary missions include electronic support measures, search and rescue, vertical replenishment, and medical evacuation.

In June 2011, the Commonwealth of Australia became the first international customer to procure the U.S. Navy’s MH-60R Seahawk by selecting the multi-mission helicopter to fulfill the Australian Defence Force’s AIR 9000 Phase 8 requirement for a fleet of 24 new-generation, multi-role naval combat aircraft.

Posted October 6, 2013