Greece Considering MH-60R Seahawk Purchase for Hellenic Navy

The Greek government is weighing a possible purchase of up to four Lockheed Martin-Sikorsky MH-60R Seahawk maritime multirole helicopters per an announcement on February 12.

If procured, these MH-60Rs would allow the Hellenic Navy to augment its inventory of 11 Sikorsky S-70B-6 Aegean Hawks.  The arrival of the new helicopters would also enable the Navy to retire its aging fleet of seven Agusta-Bell AB212 anti-submarine warfare (ASW) helicopters that are nearing the end of their useful service lives.

Any procurement by Greece would be conducted via the U.S. government-to-government foreign military sales (FMS) process.  The acquisition project would first need to be signed off on by the Defense Council and Hellenic Governmental Council on Foreign Affairs and National Defense (KYSEA).

Following years of “troika” (European Commission, European Central Bank, and IMF)-imposed austerity budgeting aimed at closing a massive budget deficit and righting Greece’s over-extended debt position, the Greek government finally emerged from its last three-year bailout program with a clean exit on August 20, 2018.  Though government financial latitude remains limited by the economic and debt woes that still straightjacket the country, modest procurements remain viable.

The latest proposed acquisition would patch an emerging capabilities gap while improving capability, as well as ensure Greece can continue to defend its littoral domains in the Aegean and Mediterranean seas.

MH-60R Seahawk Firing Chaff Flares.  Image via Official U.S. Navy Flickr Page

About Daniel Darling

Dan Darling is Forecast International’s director of military and defense markets. In this role, Dan oversees a team of analysts tasked with covering everything from budgeting to weapons systems to defense electronics and military aerospace. Additionally, for over 17 years Dan has, at various times, authored the International Military Markets reports for Europe, Eurasia, the Middle East and the Asia-Pacific region. Dan's work has been cited in Defense News, Real Clear Defense, Asian Military Review, Al Jazeera, and Financial Express, among others, and he has also contributed commentary to The Diplomat, The National Interest and World Politics Review. He has been quoted in Arabian Business, the Financial Times, Flight International, The New York Times, Bloomberg and National Defense Magazine. In addition, Dan has made guest appearances on the online radio show Midrats and on The Media Line, as well as The Red Line Podcast, plus media appearances on France 24 and World Is One News (WION).

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