MH–60R Seahawk

Product Type:

Anti-Submarine Warfare (ASW) and
Anti-Surface Warfare (ASuW) Helicopter

Using Service (US):


Program Status:

In Full Rate Production (FRP)

Prime Contractors:

Airframe: Sikorsky Aircraft (Lockheed Martin)
Avionics: Lockheed Martin Corp.

The MH-60R Seahawk

About the MH–60R Seahawk:

The Sikorsky MH–60R Seahawk (aka Romeo) Multi-Mission Helicopter is a twin-engine anti-submarine warfare (ASW) and anti-surface warfare (ASuW) helicopter. The MH-60R is powered by two General Electric T700-GE-401C turboshaft engines, each delivering 1,800 shp. The MH-60R is equipped with fully-integrated avionics and mission systems from Lockheed Martin. The MH-60Rs cutting edge mission systems provide a formidable airborne multi-mission naval platform.

The MH-60R will replace the U.S. Navy's inventory of SH-60B (anti-surface warfare and anti-submarine warfare) and SH-60F (anti-submarine warfare and search and rescue) helicopters and is designed to combine the capabilities of both.

The MH-60R can carry up to 25 sonobuoys or 3 passengers and 6,000 pounds of external cargo.

The MH-60R made its first flight on July 19, 2001. The first low-rate initial production (LRIP) helicopters were in fact remanufactured SH-60Bs, however, subsequent LRIP MH-60Rs were all new-build. The first new-build MH-60R helicopter was delivered in August 2005 and operational evaluation was completed in October 2005. The U.S. Navy approved the MH-60R for full-rate production on March 31, 2006. In October 2007, the U.S. Navy established the Helicopter Maritime Strike Squadron Seven One (HSM-71) at Naval Air Station (NAS) North Island, San Diego - the first of five MH-60R squadrons. In March 2008, the MH-60R conducted its first operations at sea from DDG-88 USS Preble (a DDG 51 Arleigh Burke Class AEGIS destroyer). In January 2009, the MH-60R was deployed for the first time with the USS John C. Stennis (CVN 74) carrier strike group. In November 2014, the U.S. Navy took delivery of its 200th MH-60R.

The U.S. Navy squadrons operating the MH-60R are the: HSM-35 Magicians (San Diego, CA), HSM-37 Easyriders (Kaneohe Bay, HI), HSM-40 Airwolves (Mayport, FL), HSM-41 Seahawks (San Diego, CA), HSM-46 Grandmasters (Mayport, FL), HSM-48 Vipers (Mayport, FL), HSM-49 Scorpions (San Diego, CA), HSM-51 Warlords (NAF Atsugi, Japan), HSM-70 Spartans (Jacksonville, FL), HSM-71 Raptors (San Diego, CA), HSM-72 Proud Warriors (Jacksonville, FL), HSM-73 BattleCats (San Diego, CA), HSM-74 Swamp Foxes (Jacksonville, FL), HSM-75 Wolf Pack (San Diego, CA), HSM-77 Saberhawks (San Diego, CA), and the HSM-78 Blue Hawks (San Diego, CA).

The MH-60R is designed to operate from destroyers (DDG), cruisers (CG) and aircraft carriers (CVN). For example, the Littoral Combat Ship, the DDG 51 AEGIS Destroyer and the DDG 1000 Zumwalt Destroyer can each carry up to two MH-60R helicopters. The MH-60R also operates from Nimitz Class aircraft carriers as part of carrier air wings. A Nimitz Class carrier air wing has four MH-60R or four SH-60F helicopters.

With its glass cockpit, the MH-60R incorporates active matrix liquid crystal displays used to facilitate pilot and co-pilot vertical and horizontal situation presentations. Another major design feature of the MH-60R is a so-called 'common cockpit' shared with the MH-60S Seahawk Fleet Combat Support Helicopter. This allows pilots to shift from one aircraft to another with minimal re-training. The common cockpit is designed and supplied by Lockheed Martin Systems Integration in Owego, New York. The common cockpit features the following: four 8x10 inch (20.3 x 25.4 cm) full-color flight and mission displays; the Rockwell Collins AN/ARC-210 full digital communications suite; the Northrop Grumman LN-100G Inertial Navigation System/Global Positioning System (INS/GPS); the Ku-band Tactical Common Data Link (TCDL) Hawklink System (supplied by Harris Corporation); a mass memory data storage unit; a ruggedized integrated mission computer; a flight management computer and operations software; and a full-color, night vision capable, sunlight readable glass cockpit. The MH-60R has an estimated life of 10,000 flight hours or approximately 22 years.

The sensors package on the MH-60R includes the Raytheon AN/AAS-44C(V) forward-looking infrared (FLIR) system for expanded night vision and Hellfire targeting capability; the Telephonics AN/APS-147 or AN/APS-153(V) multi-mode radar; the Raytheon AN/AQS-22 Airborne Low Frequency Sonar (ALFS) with expanded littoral and deep-water capability; Military-off-the-shelf (MOTS) based mission and flight management computers; and the Lockheed Martin AN/ALQ-210 Electronic Support Measures (ESM) system for passive detection, location and identification.

Countermeasures include the Alliant Techsystems AN/AAR-47 Missile Approach Warning System; BAE Systems AN/ALQ-144 infra-red countermeasures system; and BAE Systems AN/ALE-39 chaff and flare decoy dispenser.

By October 2013, the U.S. Navy had purchased 203 MH-60R Seahawks and planned to buy another 77 helicopters in the fiscal years 2014 to 2016, however, this figure was since reduced by 29 units resulting in a total of 249 MH-60R production helicopters + 2 research/test aircraft. The reduced quantity was due to expected carrier air wing reductions resulting in 16 fewer MH-60Rs + another 13 fewer helicopters due to a reduction in the Littoral Combat Ship (LCS) fleet from 52 to 32 ships. The plan to decommission the Nimitz Class aircraft carrier George Washington (CVN 73) was later cancelled and, in the FY 2016 DoD Budget Request, the 29 MH-60R helicopters were restored.

On June 16, 2011, the U.S. Navy announced that Australia will purchase 24 MH-60R Seahawks for delivery between 2014 and mid-2016 to the Royal Australian Navy. The MH-60R was selected over the NHIndustries NH90. On November 21, 2012, the Danish Ministry of Defense announced its decision to buy nine MH-60R Seahawks for the country's maritime forces (to replace the aging Westland Lynx). The MH-60R was selected over the AgustaWestland AW159 Wildcat and will be delivered from 2016 to 2018.


The MH-60R Seahawk carries either the M240 7.62mm machine gun or a GAU-21 .50 caliber pylon mounted machine gun and can be equipped with eight AGM-114 Hellfire missiles (on left and right extended pylons - 4 on each side) or three Mk 50 or Mk 54 torpedoes. Also, the MH-60R can carry up to 25 sonobuoys. For more details, see specifications below.

Price/Unit Cost:

The unit cost of the MH-60R is $30.77 million (flyaway cost in FY 2015). The cost of the airframe is $15.10 million, the avionics package costs $12.81 million, and the two engines cost $753,828 each.

Total Cost - Life of Program (LoP):

The total procurement cost of the MH-60R program is estimated at $10.83 billion + $1.73 billion in research and development (RDT&E) funds, which means the total estimated program cost is $12.56 billion (numbers are aggregated annual funds spent over the life of the program and no price/inflation adjustment was made).


The MH-60R Seahawk missions are anti-submarine warfare, anti-surface warfare, surveillance, communications relay, combat search and rescue, naval gunfire support and logistics support. The MH-60R will be the forward deployed fleet's primary anti-submarine and anti-surface warfare platform. The MH-60R provides battle group protection and adds significant capability in coastal littorals and regional conflicts.

FY 2015 DoD Program:

FY 2015 provides $983.4 million to purchase 29 helicopters as part of a continuing 5 year multiyear procurement (MYP) of MH-60R Seahawks from FY 2012 to FY 2016. In addition, the request includes funds for a MYP of MH-60 cockpits and sensors for the same period.

FY 2016 DoD Program:

The FY 2016 request provides funds in the amount of $970.0 million for the final procurement lot of 29 MH-60R Aircraft and associated support. FY 2012 - 2016 reflects pricing of awarded multi-year contracts for Mission Avionics/Common Cockpit (MYP2) and Airframe (MYP8, joint with the Army/Navy). MYP2/8 contracts have a minimum domestic quantity of 120 MH-60R (FY 2012-FY 2016).

For more information, click to view the FY 2016 Navy MH-60R Procurement Budget.

Source: U.S. Department of Defense (DoD), Sikorsky, General Electric Co.,
Raytheon, and Northrop Grumman.

Specifications Armament DoD Spending FY2016 Budget

Last Update: September 30, 2015.

By Joakim Kasper Oestergaard Balle /// (

External Resources:

Sikorsky: MH-60R Seahawk
Lockheed Martin: MH-60R Seahawk
Official MH-60R/S Site: MH-60R Official Page

Radar: Telephonics AN/APS-153
Common Cockpit: Lockheed Martin Common Cockpit
Targeting System: Raytheon AN/AAS-44C(V)
INS/GPS: Northrop Grumman LN-100G GPS/INS

YouTube: MH-60R Seahawk | YouTube

Fact Sheet: MH-60R Seahawk Fact Sheet

Total MH-60R Program Cost:

  $12.56 billion  ($10.86B procurement + $1.73B RDT&E)

MH-60R Procurement Objective:

  251 aircraft  (249 production + 2 development)

MH-60R U.S. Defense Budget Charts:

DoD Spending on the MH-60R Seahawk in FY 2012, FY 2013, FY 2014, FY 2015 and FY 2016
DoD Purchases of The MH-60R Seahawk Helicopters in FY 2012, FY 2013, FY 2014, FY 2015 and FY 2016
Defense Budget Data

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DoD Spending, Procurement and RDT&E: FY 2012/13/14 + Budget for FYs 2015 + 2016

DoD Defense Spending, Procurement, Modifications, Spares, and RDT&E for the MH-60R Seahawk

Download Official U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) Budget Data:

Purchases of MH-60R Helicopters (NAVY) Aircraft Spares and Parts (NAVY) RDT&E: MMH Upgrade Dev. (NAVY)

Aircraft Specifications: MH–60R Seahawk

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Primary Function: Anti-submarine warfare (ASW); anti-surface warfare (ASuW)
Prime Contractors:
Airframe: Sikorsky Aircraft (Lockheed Martin)
Systems Integrator: Lockheed Martin Corporation
Power Plant: 2x General Electric T700-GE401C turboshaft engines with 1,800 shp (each engine)
Length: 64 ft 10 in (19.8 m)
Height: 16 ft 9 in (5.1 m)
Rotor Diameter: 53 ft 8 in (16.4 m)
Weight (Empty): 13,470 lbs (6,545 kg)
Mission Weight: 22,420 lbs (10,170 kg) for ASW missions and 21,650 lbs (9,820 kg) for ASuW missions
Maximum Takeoff Weight (MTOW): 23,500 lbs (10,659 kg)
Capacity: 25 sonobuoys; 3 passengers; 6,000 lbs external cargo
Fuel Capacity: 590 gallons + two external auxiliary fuel tanks at 120 gallons each (optional)
Speed: Cruise: 91 kts/104 mph (168 km/h); Max: 144 kts/166 mph (267 km/h)
Rate of Climb: 1,634 ft/min (8.3 m/s)
Service Ceiling: 11,282 ft (3,439 m)
Range: 245 nm/282 miles (454 km)
Endurance: Anti-Submarine Warfare (ASW): 2.70 hours; Anti-Surface Warfare (ASuW): 3.30 hours
Armament/Weapons: 1x M240 7.62mm machine gun or 1x GAU-21 .50 caliber machine gun (pylon mounted)
and 8x AGM-114 Hellfire missiles (on left and right extended pylons - 4 on each side)
or 3x Mk 50 lightweight torpedoes (Alliant Techsystems) or 3x Mk 54 MAKO lightweight torpedoes (Raytheon)
Crew: Four (pilot, co-pilot, tactical sensor operator, and acoustic sensor operator)
Price/Unit Cost: $30.77 million flyaway cost (in FY 2015)
First Flight: July 19, 2001
Deployed: January 2009; Initial Operational Capability (IOC): December 2005

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