The Royal Australian Navy (RAN) acquired 16 S-70B-2 Seahawks, featuring an S-70B airframe with RAN-specified avionics and a rescue hoist on the starboard side. The avionics fit uses a CAE Electronics AN/AQS-504 internally-mounted MAD system and AN/SSQ-81 Barra sonobuoys with sonar processing equipment, supported by a MEL Super Searcher X-band radar housed in a small radome. RAN S-70B-2s are powered by a pair of T700-GE-401C turbines and can carry Penguin or Sea Skua light antishipping missiles.
The Sikorsky Aircraft Division of United Technologies Corporation in Florida manufactured the first batch of 8 aircraft and the first S-70B-2 aircraft was delivered to the RAN in Stratford, Connecticut in September 1989. Aerospace Technologies Australia (ASTA) at Avalon in Victoria assembled a second batch of 8 airframes. The final Seahawk was delivered in 1992.
They operate mainly from the Adelaide and ANZAC Class frigates. Two of the RAN Seahawks saw action in the 1991 Gulf War and were fitted with an AN/AAQ-16 FLIR turret and an AN/AAR-47 missile warning system. RAN Seahawks reached 40,000 flight hours in HS816 Squadron in Jul 2002.
A mid-life update provided a more effective gearbox and oil monitoring system, a crash data recording unit and the installation of fully integrated countermeasures systems consisting of Electronic Support Measures (ESM), Forward Looking Infra Red (FLIR), and Counter Measures Dispensing System (CMDS) from Apr 2004, with the remaining fleet of 15 Seahawks due to be modified by December 2005.
On June 16, 2011 the purchase of 24 MH-60R Seahawks was announced
Royal Australian Navy Retires S-70B-2 and AS350, 01-Dec-17 : The Royal Australian Navy formally retired the S-70B-2 Seahawk and AS350BA Squirrel from 723 and 816 Squadrons during a ceremony at Nowra
HMAS Canberra Initial Operational Capability, 31-Aug-15 : The Royal Australian Navy’s Amphibious Ship, HMAS Canberra, has completed a graduated operational test and trials program to achieve a key milestone towards Initial Operating Capability (IOC).
White Ribbon: End Violence Against Women, 16-Aug-15 : Royal Australian Navy HMAS Newcastle in the Persian Gulf in support of Operation MANITOU show their support for the White Ribbon campaign, national male-led campaign to end violence against women
List of Aircraft
|C/N||Built||ID In this Organisation||In other Org|
|70-461|| N24-001: RAN (8)70. ex N7265H|
|70-464|| N24-002: RAN (8)71. ex N72669|
|70-468|| N24-003: RAN (8)72. ex N72666|
|70-475|| N24-004: RAN (8)73. ex N72671|
|70-476|| N24-005: RAN (8)74. ex N72662|
|70-480|| N24-006: RAN (8)75. ex N72664|
|70-486|| N24-007: RAN (8)76, ex N72662|
|70-489|| N24-008: RAN (8)77. ex N72664|
|70-490|| N24-009: RAN (8)78, test serial N72667; Dec89 to Nowra Seahawk Intro+|
|70-591|| N24-010: RAN 879|
|70-595|| N24-011: RAN (8)80 Skeletor|
|70-597|| N24-012: RAN (8)81|
|70-599|| N24-013: RAN (8)82|
|70-601|| N24-014: RAN (8)83|
|70-604|| N24-015: RAN (8)84|
|70-609|| N24-016: RAN (8)85|