Date: July 25, 2015
By: Wendell Minnick
TAIPEI — Taiwan’s Navy seeks to procure eight to 10 MH-60R Seahawk anti-submarine
warfare (ASW) helicopters via the US Foreign Military Sales program to replace aging MD500 “Defender” helicopters, a local defense industry source said.
An announcement is expected by the end of this year and a possible letter of acceptance in 2016, the source said. A US-based defense industry analyst said the deal was estimated at $700 million to $800 million.
Taiwan’s Ministry of National Defense confirmed that the MD500s are scheduled for retirement and that it was seeking a replacement.
The revelation comes on the heels of news that Lockheed Martin will acquire Sikorsky Aircraft, maker of the Seahawk, from United Technologies for $9 billion. The new Seahawks will also augment the Navy’s existing inventory of 18 S-70C(M) ASW helicopters now in operation.
“Some of the older S-70s’ mission equipment and avionics is outdated,” the defense industry source said. The MH-60Rs will be able to take up some of the heavy lifting. [FULL STORY]