Lockheed Martin Delivers New Helicopter to Navy

By Kiersten Mathieu

July 22, 2010 Updated Apr 2, 2006 at 2:23 PM EST

Meet the MH-60R, also known as the Seahawk.

The Navy says it’s the most advanced helicopter in the world.

"I know a lot of blood, sweat, and, frankly, in some cases, tears shed because there's been a tremendous amount of effort gone into this program," says Capt. Paul Grosklags of U.S. Naval Air Systems Command.

It took nearly a decade to test, develop, and build.

Sikorsky built the helicopters in Connecticut, and then they were flown to Lockheed Martin in Owego.

Crews in Owego installed the state-of-the-art technology so the helicopter can identify ships at long range and use sonar to find enemy submarines.

"These change the hearts and minds of folks around the world. Folks who might want to do us harm, that may no longer want to do us harm," says RDML William Shannon of Naval Aviation Enterprise.

The Navy now owns the MH-60R helicopter.

It will stay in Owego for another year for more integration of newer capabilities before it joins the Navy fleet.

On Friday, the Navy also gave the go-ahead to begin full production of these helicopters.

More than 250 will be made during the next nine years.

Captain Curt Chesnutt ceremoniously accepted the logbook of the Seahawk.

"The capabilities of that aircraft are well poised to handle the situations and challenges this nation will face in the ensuing two decades," says Chesnutt.

The multi-mission Seahawks will begin protecting the U.S. fleet in three years.

The Seahawk will replace two other helicopters the Navy now uses for submarine and surface warfare.

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