https://www.australiandefence.com.au/ne ... elicopters
The RAN currently operates 24 MH-60R Seahawks in the naval combat helicopter role,
sufficient to provide eight flights (of a single helicopter) at sea
and concurrently deliver shore based training and operational tasking.
They are shore-based at HMAS Albatross, near Nowra and serve with 725 and 816 Squadrons.
https://www.abc.net.au/news/2021-10-09/ ... /100526744
With the number of Navy surface combatants set to increase in coming years
more flights at sea will be needed,
but the RAN also has a requirement to phase out its six NHI MRH 90 Multi Role Helicopters,
which are operated in the utility role from some of its larger surface ships.
Whether these additional ‘Romeos’ are intended to replace the MRH 90s in the shipboard utility role
(albeit readily re-configurable to ASW/ASuW roles),
or whether they are being acquired to bolster the existing combat helicopter remains to be seen.
The notification that only aircraft provisions for the ALFS sonar system – the primary ASW sensor –
are included in the deal,
would seem to indicate the RAN intends to rotate aircraft between roles.
The Royal Australian Navy is set to dump its troubled fleet of European-made MRH 90 Taipan helicopters,
replacing them with US-made Seahawks in a deal worth around $1.3 billion.
Overnight, the US Defence Security Cooperation Agency revealed
it had approved the sale of 12 Sikorsky Romeo Seahawk helicopters to Australia,
expected to eventually replace the navy's six Airbus-made MRH-90s
Australia's fleet of MRH 90s were first acquired from 2006
but have suffered from poor availability since entering service,
forcing the army to recently lease interim helicopters
for training and non-combat transport roles.
Last year, parliament was told the door on the MRH-90 was too narrow
to allow its gun to fire while troops were descending,
and that a third round of remedial work was being carried out on the fleet.