Today I joined the Member for Gilmore, Ann Sudmalis, MP, and Chief of Navy Vice Admiral Tim Barrett, AO, CSC, RAN at the commissioning of Navy’s helicopter training squadron for the MH-60R Seahawk ‘Romeo’.
The commissioning of 725 Squadron, at the Naval Air Station HMAS Albatross in Nowra, is an important milestone for Navy and marks the formal induction of the Squadron and aircraft into the fleet.
Some $3.2 billion dollars has been invested in procuring 24 Seahawk Romeo helicopters for Navy. Eleven aircraft have been accepted into service to date, with the delivery running on budget and ahead of schedule.
These maritime combat helicopters are the next generation submarine hunter and anti-surface warfare helicopters. They provide the Navy with multi-mission and multi-target precision strike capabilities and increase Navy’s versatility and potency as a high-end fighting force.
I congratulate the men and women of 725 Squadron and the Fleet Air Arm who have worked tirelessly preparing for this next phase. They have undergone extensive training, trials and preparation to ensure the aircraft and personnel are fit and ready for service.
The Seahawk Romeo helicopters have already been involved in First of Class Flight trials in HMAS Perth. The aircraft are on track to achieve an Initial Operating Capability at sea in August this year.
725 Squadron has a long and proud military history since initial formation in 1943. This is the fourth time the Squadron has formed, having first commenced anti-submarine training in 1959.
File imagery of the Romeo helicopter is available at http://images.defence.gov.au/S20151604 and imagery of the event will be available at this link later today.
File vision of the Romeo helicopter was fed to the federal Parliamentary Press Gallery at 12pm today.
Chloe Petch (Minister Andrews’ Office) 0477 395 356
Defence Media Operations (02) 6127 1999