In a major boost to Indian Navy’s Anti-Submarine Warfare & Fleet Support capability, MH60R multi-role helicopter undertakes maiden landing on the indigenously designed & constructed aircraft carrier, INS Vikrant.

Earlier this month the MH-60R helicopter in another milestone for the Navy had landed for the first time on an indigenously built destroyer, INS Kolkata. For the Indian Navy such successful landings are important as they enhance anti-submarine warfare (ASW) capability

Indian Navy is getting 24 MH-60R helicopters in a deal worth USD 2.6 billion through the Foreign Military sales (FMS) route from the US and these are being manufactured by Lockheed Martin Corporation. These helicopters will play a major role in the Indo-Pacific and Indian Ocean Region where the Chinese PLA navy is expanding its presence.

It has already been reported that the MH-60R from the US aerospace manufacturer Lockheed Martin is a versatile platform known for its Search and Rescue Capabilities, Anti-Shipping, Surveillance and ASW. And its integration with different warships further strengthens the Indian Navy’s capability to conduct surveillance operations, monitor maritime activities and also counter underwater threats

India has placed an order for 24 MH-60R at a cost of US$ 2.6 billion and it’s a government to government deal coming through Foreign Military Sales (FMS) from the US based Lockheed Martin Corporation. Dr Vivek Lall, who was then the Vice President of Strategy and Business Development at Lockheed Martin had spearheaded the talks at that time.

And on board these helicopters there are several India Unique Weapons and Equipment and state of the art sensors and avionics. In July 2021 the Indian Navy received two MH-60Rs from the US and the delivery of all 24 are expected to be completed ahead of time by mid-2025.

This is an all weather helicopter which is designed to support multiple missions and is equipped with the state of the art avionics and sensors. The twin engine helicopters India is getting are equipped with advanced precision weapons, MK 54 Torpedoes and AGM-114 Hellfire missiles. These engines can operate from aircraft carriers, destroyers and frigates.

Just before the global lockdown due to COVID-19 pandemic, the Cabinet Committee on Security (CCS) had put its stamp of approval for the procurement of these helicopters where it had received approval from Defence Acquisition Council in 2018. These helicopters are going to replace the ageing British Sea King helicopters which the Indian Navy is flying and are the naval version of Sikorsky UH-60 Black Hawk. This helicopter is fourth generation and is a member of the Sikorsky S-70 family.

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