Lockheed Martin Celebrates Milestone
The Seahawk is known as the workhorse of Navy helicopters, used for training and missions around the world.
Lockheed Martin is set to make 300 of these helicopters for the navy and today, they reached their halfway mark.
Liutenant Commander Holly Hoxsie from Squadron 41 out of San Diego has the honor of flying this brand new, state-of-the-art navy helicopter to its new home on the west coast.
"This aircraft is the most technically advanced multimission helicopter in the world and its just a pleasure to fly it. I'm more capable of doing so much more with this aircraft [and] yes, I feel more protected in this aircraft for sure," said Hoxsie.
Hoxsie has over 1000 mission hours in the MH-60-R and says she's wanted to fly a brand new one back to her base for years.
"The censor suite that we have on this aircraft is really world class, so it allows the navy unprecedented capability to identify advasaries at sea for both anti submarine warfare and anti surface warfare," said Tom Kane the Program Director.
Congressman Tom Reed was there for the milestone.
He says he came to show the community he supports their hard work.
Reed says one of his top priorities in washington is to make sure the government doesn't gut defense funding as a March 1st deadline looms for a trillion dollars in spending cuts.
"I wanted to send a message by coming here today that we're gonna stand with Lockheed Martin. We're gonna stand with our local workforce and make sure that we continue to have the ability to continue to produce the types of quality machines you see right behind me," said Reed.
The helicopters are gaining international attention and have been purchased by Denmark and Australia.
The last MH-60 they will deliver to the navy is scheduled for 2018, and program director, Tom Kane, says he's optimistic about international sales beyond then.