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Lockheed to supply low frequency sonars for Danish and Indian MH-60R Seahawks helicopter

Lockheed Martin has won a $181.7 million to produce and deliver 39 AN/AQS-22 Airborne Low-Frequency Sonars (ALFS) to the USN and FMS customers, for integration into MH-60R Seahawk multi-mission helicopters.

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Lockheed to supply low frequency sonars for Danish and Indian MH 60R Seahawks Helicopter 925 002 A pair of US Navy Sikorsky MH-60R Seahawks, NE 712 166556 and NE 700 166541 of HSM-77 'Sabrehawks', cruise over the Pacific Ocean. (Picture source: Sikorsky/Lockheed Martin)

Under a $181.74 million contract modification from Naval Air Systems Command, announced on 4 August, 24 sonar systems will be provided to India and 7 ALFS to Denmark, in addition to 8 ALFS for the US Navy, into MH-60R Seahawk aircraft, the U.S. Department of Defense said in a statement today.

India is buying a total of 24 helicopters under a $2.1 billion deal confirmed by the country in February this year. For the record, the Indian Navy MH-60R weapons package is expected to include Kongsberg’s Naval Strike Missile in its helicopter launched variant (known as NSM-HL).

The contract award comes after the government of Denmark announced in April this year it had ordered torpedoes, ALFS and sonobuoys for its nine MH-60R Seahawk helicopters.

All work under the contract is expected to be completed by December 2024.

Lockheed to supply low frequency sonars for Danish and Indian MH 60R Seahawks Helicopter 925 003 AN/AQS-22 Airborne Low-Frequency Sonar (ALFS). (Picture source: Raytheon)

About the AN/AQS-22 Airborne Low-Frequency Sonar :

The AN/AQS-22 Airborne Low-Frequency Sonar (ALFS) is the primary undersea warfare (USW) sensor of the MH-60R multi-mission helicopter. This integrated dipping sonar system enables the MH-60R to accomplish the assigned ASW missions of submarine detection, tracking, localization and classification. It also performs missions relating to acoustic intercept, underwater communications and environmental data acquisition.

The AN/AQS-22 is the only in-service dipping sonar with the multi-frequency operation. This capability enables the AN/AQS-22 to adapt its performance to varying environmental conditions. With a rapid search rate, the AN/AQS-22 identifies and neutralizes threats sooner, enabling it to cover a larger area. The AN/AQS-22 also permits a longer detection range over a wider area, reducing the number of helicopters required to perform active anti-submarine warfare (ASW) screening.

Lockheed to supply low frequency sonars for Danish and Indian MH 60R Seahawks Helicopter 925 001 An MH-60R helicopter. (Picture source: US Navy)

About the MH-R helicopters:

The MH-60Rs are in service with the navies of the United States, Australia and Denmark, and are used to perform search and rescue, troop transport, medical evacuation, ship-to-ship replenishment, and humanitarian relief operations, in addition to their primary mission of anti-submarine and anti-surface warfare.

The U..S Navy is the main operator of the MH-60R with 289 units in its fleet. It is the primary anti-submarine warfare and anti-surface warfare helicopter in the fleet.

The MH-60R combines the features of the SH-60B and SH-60F aircraft. Its sensors package includes an MTS-FLIR, the AN/APS-147 multi-mode radar/IFF interrogator, an advanced airborne fleet data link, and a more advanced airborne active Low-Frequency Sonar (ALFS). Offensive capabilities are improved by the addition of new Mk-54 air-launched torpedoes and AGM-114 Hellfire missiles.