Tempest fails to stop Romeo's entrance in Australia

Published on Ms Dallas McMaugh (author), LSIS Jayson Tufrey (photographer)

Location(s): HMAS Albatross

The first MH-60R Romeo Seahawk being brought out of the back of a RAAF C-17 cargo aircraft. (photo: LSIS Jayson Tufrey)
The first MH-60R Romeo Seahawk being brought out of the back of a RAAF C-17 cargo aircraft.

Torrential rain and gale force winds failed to stop the delivery of the Royal Australian Navy's first MH-60R Seahawk 'Romeo' naval combat helicopter to HMAS Albatross, Nowra on 14 October.

Flying Officer Nick Tickner and Commander Fleet Air Arm, Commodore Vince Di Pietro with the first Australian MH-60R Romeo Seahawk in the back of a RAAF C-17 cargo aircraft.

Flying Officer Nick Tickner and Commander Fleet Air Arm, Commodore Vince Di Pietro with the first Australian MH-60R Romeo Seahawk in the back of a RAAF C-17 cargo aircraft.


The next-generation maritime combat helicopter was transported by Royal Australian Air Force C-17 heavy lift aircraft from the US Navy Air Station in Jacksonville, Florida, where Royal Australian Navy aircrew have been building their operational experience alongside United States Navy Romeo squadrons.
 
Commander Fleet Air Arm, Commodore Vince Di Pietro, who had tracked the progress of the Romeo since being party to discussions held about their purchase while on posting to Washington in 2006, was first on board the C-17 to inspect the new arrival.
 
"It is absolutely fantastic to welcome the newest member of the Fleet Air Arm to its new home," Commodore Di Pietro said.
 
The Romeos will fly as part of 725 Squadron and will provide ongoing anti-surface warfare and anti-submarine capability to the fleet. Carrying both Mk54 torpedos and Hellfire air-to-surface missiles, it will be able to operate from Navy's Anzac Class frigates and the new Hobart Class air warfare destroyers.

Meanwhile the Nowra community can look forward to seeing them in the skies when the helicopter commences air trials next month.

The first MH-60R Romeo Seahawk being moved into the hangar after being brought out of the back of a RAAF C-17 cargo aircraft.

The first MH-60R Romeo Seahawk being moved into the hangar after being brought out of the back of a RAAF C-17 cargo aircraft.


A total of 24 Romeo variants are scheduled for delivery to the fleet in the future.

Imagery is available on the Australian Defence Image Library at http://images.defence.gov.au/S20143087.