STRATFORD, Conn., July 26, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- The Commonwealth of Australia has thanked Sikorsky Aircraft Corp., a subsidiary of United Technologies Corp. (NYSE:UTX), for early delivery of the first MH-60R SEAHAWK ® helicopter to the U.S. Navy, the initial step in the process to transfer a mission-ready aircraft to the Australian Defence Force in December 2013.
"Delivery and first flight of an Australian MH-60R aircraft in late June occurred only two years after contract signature, some six months ahead of the original schedule approved by the Australian Government in 2011," said Captain Scott Lockey, project director at the Defence Materiel Organisation (DMO), which is procuring 24 MH-60R anti-submarine and anti-surface warfare helicopters for the Royal Australian Navy. "This is a magnificent outcome for our program."
During a ceremony July 23 near the SEAHAWK production line at Sikorsky's Stratford, Conn., facility to mark the June 29 initial delivery, representatives of the U.S. Navy, Royal Australian Navy, the DMO and mission systems integrator Lockheed Martin heard Capt. Lockey speak to Sikorsky's workforce via video."From the technicians on the production floor, to the test pilots on the flight line, to the senior executives, everyone who has touched the Australian Romeo program in any way should be proud of the role you have played," he said. On July 24, the first Royal Australian Navy MH-60R aircraft arrived at Lockheed Martin Mission Systems & Training in Owego, N.Y., for the second phase of aircraft completion — installation of the digital cockpit and integrated mission systems and sensors. Added Capt. Lockey: "The Romeo will be a significant contributor to maritime security in our region, and will provide the Royal Australian Navy with the most capable anti-surface and anti-submarine helicopter available today. I know that the efforts of the U.S. Navy, Sikorsky and other industry partners will ensure that the Romeo maintains superiority in its primary roles throughout its life."