WASHINGTON: Spain has been cleared to purchase eight MH-60R Seahawk helicopters for an estimated price tag of $950 million, the US State Department announced today.
While the announcement may raise eyebrows as the first arms sale to a NATO nation since Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, such arms requests have a long tail that requires months or years of work to get to a public announcement.
“This proposed sale will support the foreign policy and national security objectives of the United States by improving the security of a NATO ally which is an important force for political stability and economic progress in Europe,” the announcement on the Defense Security Cooperation Agency’s website reads.
“The proposed sale will improve Spain’s capability to meet current and future threats. The MH-60R Multi-Mission Helicopter will provide the capability to perform anti-surface and anti-submarine warfare missions along with the ability to perform secondary missions including vertical replenishment, search and rescue, and communications relay and will bolster the Spanish Navy’s ability to support NATO and remain interoperable with the U.S. and the NATO alliance. Spain will have no difficulty absorbing these helicopters into its armed forces,” the announcement says.
Sales announcements are not final. Foreign Military Sales (FMS) cases announced like these have been approved by the executive branch, and now Congress must weigh in or do nothing. Should the Hill not object, the quantities and dollar values in the deals can change during negotiations with industry.
As is, the Spanish request covers eight of the MH-60R helicopters, 20 T-700-GE-401C engines (16 installed, 4 spares); 32 AGM-114R(N) Hellfire missiles, all up rounds; two Hellfire II Captive Air Training Missiles (CATM); 100 WGU-59/B Advanced Precision Kill Weapon System (APKWS) II Guidance Sections, all up rounds; and eight Link 16 Multifunctional Information Distribution Systems Joint Tactical Radio Systems, along with a variety of other weapons and associated equipment, according to the DSCA notice.
Work will be performed primarily at Lockheed Martin’s facility in Owego, NY.
This represents the fifth request for a foreign military sale from Spain since April 2018, for a combined estimated price tag of just under $3.5 billion. That includes a request from Madrid for 17 CH-47F cargo helicopters.
Spain cleared to buy $950M worth of MH-60R helicopters – Breaking Defense Breaking Defense is written by Aaron Mehta for breakingdefense.com