Taking the bilateral defence cooperation to a new height, the Indian Navy has received the first batch of two MH-60R multi-role helicopters from American weapons manufacturer Lockheed Martin.
Lockheed Martin will deliver a total of 24 such helicopters to the Indian Navy under foreign military sales from the US government at a cost of $2.4 billion.
During the handing over ceremony, Indian Ambassador Taranjit Singh Sandhu was present at the Naval Air Station North Island in San Diego on Friday.
“The Indian Navy inducted its first two MH-60R Seahawks from the US Navy during a ceremony at Naval Air Station North Island,” the US Naval Air Forces said in a series of tweets.
“The Indian Navy will receive a total of 24 MH-60Rs in the contract with the US Navy which will enhance our Navy-to-Navy cooperation and strengthen our combined subsurface and surface warfare capability and capacity in the Indo-Pacific region,” it said.
The MH-60R helicopter is an all-weather helicopter designed to support multiple missions with state-of-the-art avionics.
“The induction of these MRH would further enhance Indian Navy’s three-dimensional capabilities. In order to exploit these potent helicopters, the first batch of Indian crew is presently undergoing training in the US,” the Indian Navy said.
The MH-60R is among the most capable naval helicopters available in the world today. The helicopters will provide India with the ability to monitor the seas for the increasing number of Chinese surface ships and submarines.
The MH-60R is capable of operating from both ships as well as from the shore and can spot underwater enemies, detect and engage enemy threats, lift heavy cargo and share information with other assets to defeat the threat.
Aboard the MH-60R, the mission systems compile data from onboard and off-board sensors to create an integrated picture that allows the helicopter to identify, locate, track and prosecute threats.