JEDDAH: Commander of the Royal Saudi Naval Forces (RSNF) Gen. Fahd bin Abdullah Al-Ghufaili on Thursday in New York launched the first MH-60R navel multirole helicopter aircraft, which operates on board the fleet’s ships and at naval bases.
During his inauguration ceremony speech, Al-Ghufaili explained that the addition of Seahawk (MH-60R) multi-tasking helicopters to the RSNF was in line with the strategic objectives of the Ministry of Defense’s vision supported by King Salman, supreme commander of the military forces, and in accordance with the directives of Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman.
Al-Ghufaili said that the aircraft had the latest military technology and was characterized by high combat capabilities of surface and sub-surface wars, enhancing the capability of the Royal Saudi Naval Forces to meet challenges and threats in the region and to contribute in partnership with naval forces of other countries to enhance maritime security.
Daniel Schultz, president of Sikorsky, a Lockheed Martin company, highly commended the partnership between the Saudi Royal Navy Forces and Lockheed Martin. He described the helicopter aircraft as one of the most reliable in the industry.
Rear Admiral Francis D. Morley, director of the US Navy’s International Cooperation Program, said that the project was an opportunity to develop the strategic relationship between Saudi Arabia and the US, particularly in light of the historical ties between the Saudi Navy and US Navy.
Saudi Arabia had requested a purchase of 10 Sikorsky-Lockheed Martin MH-60R multi-mission helicopters in 2015, for an estimated cost of $1.9 billion under the Foreign Military Sales (FMS) program.
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