More than a dozen new MH-60R Seahawk Romeo Helicopters have been promised to the Shoalhaven’s HMAS Albatross, in what has been hailed a major economic boost to the region.

The Federal Government has announced it will spend $124 million on acquiring the fleet, which is being expanded from the current 23 to 36 aircraft from mid-2025.

HMAS Albatross’ airfields are also set to undergo an upgrade, which will lead to around 120 new jobs being created on the South Coast.

Minister for Defence Industry Pat Conroy (left) and Member for Gilmore Fiona Phillips (right) at HMAS Albatross in Nowra. (Credit: Alison Bourne / WIN News Illawarra)

Speaking from Nowra on Tuesday (22 August 2023), Federal Defence Industry Minister Pat Conroy said the 13 new helicopters would complement the nuclear-powered submarine base, which will be delivered along Australia’s East Coast — where Port Kembla has been named one of the three preferred locations to house the subs.

“This is a critical strategic asset for the nation,” Mr Conroy said.

“It needs to be fit for purpose.”


HMAS Albatross plays an integral role in Australia’s defence capabilities as the Navy’s only air station and the country’s largest operational Naval establishment.