WASHINGTON: And then there were two. Denmark’s top defense leaders chose the MH-60 Seahawk and Augusta Westland’s AW159 Wildcat to continue on in the country’s ongoing combat helicopter competition, according to a statement from the country’s Defence Command.
Either the Seahawk or Wildcat will replace the Danish navy’s fleet of British-built Lynx helos “and will in future support the Navy to solve tasks in the North Atlantic and the Arctic region, as well as participate in international operations,” Maj. Gen. Flemming Lentfer, deputy chief of staff for plans and policy for Denmark’s Defence Command, said in today’s statement. The new helicopter will be primarily tasked to search and rescue and surveillance operations, but will also be used for a number of other secondary missions, from fishery inspection to anti-piracy ops.
Copenhagen plans to hammer out a final agreement by this year, with the first ship-based helicopters expected to hit Danish warships by 2015, according to Lentfer. If the MH-60 is selected, Denmark will join Australia and Thailand in flying the Seahawk. The Lockheed-Sikorsky team locked in the deal with Bangkok last August. Canberra picked the Seahawk last June. South Korea and Saudi Arabia are also reportedly interested in buying the MH-60. “I am sure that the two remaining suppliers can provide a product that can solve the tasks for which the Navy is directed forward,” he said.