Denmark Buys 9 Helicopters from Lockheed Martin
12/10/2012 (Updated 6:41:07 PM)(Source: Kate Thornton)
OWEGO -- One hundred forty-six MH-60R SEAHAWK helicopters are used by the U.S. Navy. Components of the helicopters are made right here in Owego at Lockheed Martin.
Soon, there will be dozens will used by foreign countries.
On Monday at Lockheed Martin, the U.S. Navy announced that the Danish government signed an official letter of offer and acceptance formalizing its intent to buy nine MH-60R SEAHAWK helicopters and comprehensive logistics support for its Maritime Helicopter Replacement Program.
The deal is valued at $686 million.
"We feel very fortunate that they selected us. We feel they selected us based on the fact that we are the lowest risk option and the best value," said Naval Helicopter Programs Director Tom Kane.
The MH-60R replaces many older choppers that have been in service for almost two decades.
Lt. Chase Coleman is part of a crew based out of Jacksonville, Florida who is delivering number 147 on Wednesday.
Coleman has flown the state of the art helicopter, also known as "The Romeo" said it's the most advanced in the world.
"It gives not only that the integrations capability of the Romeo and the ability of the Romeo to look to the future. It's like they're planning for us to have it for a while and use it so that is really helpful. We're always learning something new about it, and brings a lot more to the fight than most helicopters would," said Coleman.
Denmark is the second country to buy MH-60R helicopters. Australia bought 24 aircraft in 2011.
"When you combine the 24 Australia's purchased and the 9 Denmark is now going to buy, we'll have close to 350 aircraft out there world wide," said Kane.
According to Kane, the first delivery to Denmark will be in May 2016, with all nine to the Danish government by 2018.
Kane said several other countries are interested in the aircraft as well like Norway, Republic of Korea, and Qatar. According to Kane, pending contracts with the Republic of Korea and Qatar are expected to close sometime in 2013.
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