TIOGA COUNTY, N.Y. - On Monday, Lockheed Martin Owego's Director of Naval Helicopter Programs, Tom Kane, announced that the Danish government plans to purchase nine MH-60R Seahawk helicopters and comprehensive logistics support for its Maritime Helicopter Replacement Program. According to Kane, the purchase, valued at $686 million, will be administered by the United States Navy.

Kane added that Lockheed Martin anticipates the first delivery to Denmark to take place in May 2016. This purchase by Denmark follows Australia's purchase of 24 of the aircraft in 2011. All nine aircraft, according to Kane, will be delivered to the Danish government by 2018.

"It's great news that the Danish government has selected the U.S. Navy's MH-60R, an aircraft we believe is the world's most capable multi-mission maritime helicopter," said Rear Adm. Paul Grosklags, program executive officer, Air, ASW, Assault and Special Mission Programs.

"Danish pilots and crew will be able to fly with the confidence that these aircraft have been proven operationally capable at sea and have the full logistics support already in place to ensure they are ready and able to fly anytime, anywhere in the world," he added in a release.

The MH-60R Seahawk replaces the Light Airborne Multi-Purpose System (LAMPS) originally awarded to the plant's former owner, IBM Corporation, in 1981. Kane described the LAMPS program on Monday as an earlier variant. "This is newer," said Kane of the MH-60R. Kane stated that Lockheed Martin will not be doing any additional hiring to fulfill the contract, and will utilize its existing workforce. Lockheed Martin in Owego currently maintains a workforce of 2,700 employees, down from approximately 4,000 in 2008 and 2009.

Lockheed Martin in Owego has been helping produce the MH-60R Seahawk helicopter for the U.S. Navy for several years. The Navy is scheduled to obtain 291 choppers by 2017.

"We have already delivered 146 of them and we are scheduled to deliver three more this week," Kane added.

The Danish aircraft are configured for anti-surface warfare operations, including defending Danish interests in the North Atlantic, executing anti-piracy operations, and conducting other missions during international deployments.

The U.S. Navy was supported in its winning proposal by Team Seahawk, consisting of MH-60R airframe manufacturer Sikorsky Aircraft, mission systems integrator Lockheed Martin, engine manufacturer GE, sensor supplier Raytheon Corp., and training supplier CAE.