The U.S. Navy plans to replace all of their SH-60B and SH-60F helicopters with the new MH-60R Multi-Mission Helicopter (MMH). The aircraft is enhanced with a new Lockheed Martin glass cockpit, as well as mission improvements that include the sonar, radar, ESM, and an integrated self defense suite. The MH-60R glass cockpit will be common to the MH-60S helicopter currently in production. This will allow pilots to switch from one aircraft type to another with greater ease and will reduce the logistic support infrastructure, resulting in lower cost of ownership.
Three "remanufactured" test article aircraft were delivered to the U. S. Navy in 2001. These aircraft, equipped with mission systems and instrumented with sensors, have entered the Contractor Test (CT) phase of the program at Lockheed Martin. An additional four low rate initial production (LRIP) "remanufactured" aircraft will be delivered in 2002 to support follow-on development and operational testing planned by the U. S. Navy.
The U. S. Navy recently restructured the MH-60R program from a remanufacture of the existing U. S. Navy H-60 fleet to a new procurement program with a total requirement of 243 aircraft. The first new production deliveries from Sikorsky are planned in the first quarter of 2005.
MH-60R aircraft will operate from the Navy's frigates, destroyers, aircraft carriers and cruisers performing Under Sea Warfare (USW) and Anti-Surface Warfare (ASuW) missions currently conducted by the SH-60B and SH-60F aircraft.