The U.S. Navy plans to update its MH-60 Seahawk helicopters in order to extend the service life of the aircraft through 2035, Navy Times reported Tuesday.
Meghann Myers writes the Naval Air Systems Command must first assess the service life of the airframes in order to look into the extent of wear prior to extending the aircraft’s use.
“That will determine how long the aircraft will last, and what activities we need to take to make the aircraft last that long,” Capt. Craig Grubb, the H-60 program manager, said at the annual Sea-Air-Space symposium.
The Navy needs to keep its MH-60R and MH-60S helicopters, built by Lockheed Martin‘s Sikorsky subsidiary, in service to support various operations, including submarine hunting, vertical resupply and personnel recovery, according to the report.
Myers reports that the S variant will be the first to undertake an overhaul as it had a heavy workload after it replaced the CH-46 Sea Knight as the Navy’s vertical replenishment.
The report said Grubb expects an FLA contract to handle the service life extension program, which could be underway around 2022 and include modifications to the helicopters’ systems.