The Indian Navy has received its first two MH-60R Seahawk multi-role helicopters of 24 ordered last year from the US for $2.12 billion.
Indian ambassador to the US, Taranjit Singh Sandhu, formally accepted the aircraft during a ceremony held at North Island Naval Air Station in San Diego. He remarked that the induction of the multi-role helicopters serves as an important milestone in India-US defense ties.
Indian naval forces will use the newly acquired helicopters to perform various combat missions, including anti-submarine warfare, anti-surface warfare, combat search and rescue, and medical evacuation.
The service purchased the MH-60R Seahawk helicopters because of their state-of-the-art avionics and sensors designed to support multiple missions even in adverse weather conditions.
The Indian Navy will perform modifications on the vehicles, such as incorporating the country’s own military equipment and weapons, once the contract is complete. “In order to exploit these potent helicopters, the first batch of Indian crew is presently undergoing training in the US,” a representative stated in a press release.
Developed by Lokcheed Martin’s Sikorsky, the MH-60R Seahawk is one of the world’s most advanced marine helicopters. More than 300 are currently in use around the world.
The Seahawk can fly at a maximum speed of 180 knots (207 miles per hour) and travel up to 245 nautical miles (453 kilometers).
We thank @indiannavy for their confidence placed in @Sikorsky through their selection of the #MH60R helicopter.
We stand committed to supporting our partners in the Indian armed forces for decades to come. #RomeoForIndia pic.twitter.com/a9fTY0L5tj
— Lockheed Martin India (@LMIndiaNews) July 17, 2021
The defense ministry of India cleared the way for procurement of the 24 Seahawks in 2018. The US Army notified Congress of the potential sale a year later.
Delivery of another four helicopters is expected this year.