MH-60R Helicopter Enters Operational Evaluation Phase

Released on Tuesday, May 17, 2005
United States of America
MH-60R Strikehawk
SH-60B Seahawk
SH-60F Ocean Hawk
OPEVAL - Operational Evaluation
The MH-60R Seahawk, the Navy's next generation submarine hunter and surface attack helicopter, entered operational evaluation (OpEval) May 9 with Air Test and Evaluation Squadron (VX) 1 at Patuxent River, Maryland.

Designed to replace the fleet's legacy SH-60B and SH-60F aircraft, the MH-60R and its mission systems will undergo rigorous assessment in operational flight conditions by fleet representatives.

OpEval is the aircraft's final test phase before fleet introduction and delivery.

Navy evaluators gave the authorization to begin OpEval at an April 22 operations test readiness review meeting. The decision followed the helicopter's successful completion of the Navy's six-month developmental test phase, known as technical evaluation, in February.

The Navy's operational test squadron VX-1 will conduct OpEval, scheduled to end in September, here at Patuxent River, Maryland. and various other test ranges.

Specifically, VX-1 will evaluate the performance of the MH-60R aircraft and its on-board weapons subsystems, including the multimode radar, electronic support measures and radar warning receiver, airborne dipping sonar and acoustics. The fusion of multiple data sources for most effective workload management and decision-making also will be evaluated.

The new technology this platform brings to the fleet and operating forces around the world will change the way naval forces fight, by providing greater surveillance capabilities and more combat options for strike group commanders, according to program officials.

Industry partners agree that the increased capabilities that are offered with the MH-60R will play a major role in a naval force that will deter and win the wars of the future.

Lockheed Martin is the mission systems integrator for the MH-60R, and also provides the digital cockpit, which is common to all MH-60S and MH-60R helicopters. Sikorsky designs and manufactures the MH-60S and MH-60R aircraft and is responsible for the mechanical and electrical modifications on the airframe.


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