Greece Request for MH-60R Seahawks Approved by U.S. State Department

A Greek government request for the sale of seven MH-60R Seahawk multimission helicopters has been granted a green light by the U.S. State Department.  The Foreign Military Sales (FMS) proposal would see up to seven Seahawks plus associated radars, engines, weaponry and internal systems supplied by Lockheed Martin under an estimated $600 million deal.  The Pentagon’s Defense Security Cooperation Agency (DSCA) notified Congress of the proposed sale on July 12.

The MH-60R Seahawks would be delivered to the Hellenic Navy if the deal goes through as expected, with the new helicopters capable of performing anti-submarine and anti-surface warfare missions, search-and-rescue, close-in naval gunfire support, surveillance and other duties.

The Hellenic Navy’s helicopter fleet currently consists of two aging SA-319B Alouette IIIs used for search-and-rescue, eight Agusta/Bell AB212s assigned to anti-submarine warfare (ASW), plus 11 Sikorsky S-70B “Aegean” Hawks also used for ASW missions.

The FMS deal would provide the Navy with a modern, flexible platform with which to conduct myriad duties in the Aegean and Mediterranean seas regions.  The service, like every branch of the Hellenic Armed Forces, has largely gone without an infusion of new platforms and hardware since Greece’s sovereign debt crisis erupted in 2009.

With the Greek government wrapping up a loan program needed to keep Athens solvent and exiting from its final three-year bailout program (part of the longer eight-year program) on August 20, 2018, Greece is slowly beginning to invest in defense modernization once again.

About Daniel Darling

Dan Darling is a senior analyst covering both the Europe and Asia-Pacific regions for Forecast International's International Military Markets group.

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