Israeli SH-60F contract award

US Naval Air Systems Command (NAVAIR) awarded Science and Engineering Services LLC of Huntsville, Alabama, a $13,515,107 firm-fixed-price, cost reimbursable, cost-plus-fixed-fee modification to a previously awarded contract on January 19 for work related to three Sikorsky SH-60F Seahawk helicopters destined for the government of Israel.

This modification, financed by Foreign Military Sales funds, adds scope to provide return to flight repairs and storage for the three helicopters. Work will be performed in Huntsville, Alabama, and is expected to be completed in January 2024.

US Navy SH-60F
A search and rescue swimmer jumps from a US Navy SH-60F Seahawk helicopter assigned to Training Air Wing 5 at Naval Air Station Whiting Field, Florida. Israel is planning to acquire eight former US Navy SH-60Fs US Navy

Israel has had a long-held ambition to replace its AS565MA Atalef helicopters, which are operated on behalf of the Israeli Navy. In an effort to save money, in 2015 Israel finally decided to acquire second-hand US Navy SH-60F Seahawks. As far back as July 6, 2016, the US Defense Security Co-operation Agency (DSCA) had announced US State Department approval for the proposed Foreign Military Sale to Israel of eight SH-60Fs as Excess Defense Articles (EDA) at an estimated cost of $300 million, including associated equipment and support. The DSCA said Congress had been notified of the planned deal the previous day.

The DSCA said that the deal would also include two spareT-700 GE 401C engines, eight AN/APN-194(V) Radar Altimeters; eight AN/APN-217A Doppler Radar Navigation Sets; eight AN/ARN-15l (V)2 Global Positioning Systems; eight AN/APX100(V) Identification Friend or Foe (IFF) Transponder Sets; eight OA-8697 A/ARD Direction Finding Groups; eight AN/ARN-118(V) NAV Receivers; eight AN/ARN-146 On Top Position Indicators; 16 IP-1544A/ASQ-200 Horizontal Situation Video Displays (HSVD); eight AN/ARC-174A (V)2 HF Radios; 16 AN/ARC182(V) UHF/UHF Radios; eight PIN 70600-81010-011 Communication System Controllers; eight GAU-16 50 cal. Machine Guns; eight M-60D/M-240 Machine Guns; eight Internal auxiliary fuel tanks; 16 external auxiliary fuel tanks; and eight C-11822/AWQ Controllers, Armament System.

Also included are spares and repair parts, support and test equipment, communication equipment, ferry support, publications and technical documentation, US Government and contractor engineering, technical and logistics support services, plus other related elements of logistical and programme support.

Israel had already been approved to receive eight SH-60Fs via the EDA Programme under a separate notification. That separate notification included only the SH-60 airframes, while the DSCA announcement includes all the major components and customer-unique requirements requested to supplement the EDA grant transfer.

Israel has purchased four new Sa’ar 6 corvettes to secure the Leviathan Natural Gas Field. However, as a result of increased costs involved in purchasing these vessels, the Seahawk purchase was also delayed until funding could be provided for their acquisition. As a result, it appears that only the first three of the planned eight are being immediately acquired. The SH-60Fs will be used onboard the new frigates to patrol and protect these gas fields as well as other areas under threat.