US approves $600 million sale to Greece of MH-60R Seahawk helicopters

The U.S. State Department approved the possible sale to Greece of up to seven Sikorsky MH-60R Seahawk multi-mission helicopters along with missiles, torpedoes, rockets, guns and other equipment at an estimated cost of $600 million, the Defense Security Cooperation Agency said in a release.

Nicknamed the Romeo, the MH-60R Seahawk multi-role helicopter manufactured by Lockheed Martin subsidiary Sikorsky is designed for anti-submarine and anti-surface warfare, as well conducting search-and-rescue operations at sea and transporting personnel and materiel.

The Hellenic Navy currently has 11 Sikorsky S-70 B maritime helicopters assigned to its 2nd Helicopter Squadron. The S-70 B is an export-focused variant of the older SH-60 Seahawk helicopter.

In February, Minister of National Defense Evangelos Apostolakis said the government was in the process of “activating a subprogramme for the acquisition of four (4) MH-60R Seahawk type helicopters,” New Greek Television reported.

“This proposed sale will support U.S. foreign policy and national security objectives by helping to improve the security of a NATO ally,” the DSCA said in the Friday, July 12 release. “The MH-60R helicopters will bolster the Hellenic Navy’s ability to support NATO and remain interoperable with the U.S. and the NATO alliance.”

In addition to the seven helicopters, Greece requested to buy 100 Advanced Precision Kill Weapons System (APKWS) precision-guided rockets; 30 MK 54 lightweight hybrid torpedoes; 12 M-240 general-purpose machine guns; 12 GAU-21 .50 calibre machine guns; 1,000 AN/SSQ-36/53/62 anti-submarine sonobuoys; four AGM-114Q Hellfire training missiles and two AGM-114 M36-E9 Captive Air Training Missiles (CATM).

The proposed sale also includes 18 T700 GE-401 C engines, 10 APS-l 53(V) multi-mode radars, seven Airborne Low Frequency Sonar systems, targeting, navigation and communication systems, along with other related equipment, facilities design, and construction, spare and repair parts, training and other program support.

The principal contractor will be Lockheed Martin Rotary and there are no known offset agreements in connection with the sale, the release said.

In April, the U.S. approved the sale of 24 Sikorsky MH-60R Seahawk helicopters to India at an estimated cost of $2.6 billion.

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