The Indian Navy has accepted its first two of its MH-60R multi role helicopters from in a ceremony held at Naval Air Station North Island, San Diego.
Built by Lockheed Martin’s Sikorsky, the helicopters were handed on July 16, five months after the first Indian Romeo performed its maiden flight at Lockheed Martin’s Rotary and Mission Systems (RMS) plant in Owego, New York.
The hand-over ceremony marked the formal transfer of these helicopters from to the US to Indian Navy, which were accepted by the Indian Ambassador to USA.
The MH-60R is an all-weather helicopter designed to support multiple missions. The MH-60R Seahawk missions include anti-submarine and anti-surface warfare, surveillance, communications relay, combat search and rescue, naval gunfire support and logistics support.
India approved the purchase of 24 of these helicopters under the US government’s Foreign Military Sales program. The helicopters and related equipment have a reported price tag of $2.1 billion.
According to the Indian defense ministry, they would also be modified with India unique equipment and weapons.
MH-60Rs will replace India’s Westland Sea King and Kamov Ka-28 helicopters. They will be equipped with Hellfire missiles, Mark 54 torpedoes, precision-kill rockets and multi-mode radars.
Originally developed for the US Navy, the helicopters are also in service in Australia and Denmark.