Just some days ahead of the visit of the US President Donald Trump to India, the Cabinet Committee on Security (CCS) headed by Prime Minister Narendra Modi has given its approval for the procurement of 24 MH-60R 24 MH-60R Seahawk maritime multi-mission helicopters from the US-based Sikorsky-Lockheed Martin for the Indian Navy.
It is to be estimated that this will perhaps be the only deal which will be approved by the Cabinet Committee on Security ahead of the visit and get announced at the end of bilateral talks on February 25 in New Delhi. The deal which is going through the Foreign Military Sales (FMS) for approximately $2.6 billion.
About Sikorsky SH-60 Seahawk
The Sikorsky SH-60/MH-60 Seahawk is a twin turbo shaft engine, multi-mission United States Navy helicopter based on the United States Army. The most significant modifications are the folding main rotor and a hinged tail to reduce its footprint aboard ships.
Crew – Three to four
Passenger capacity – Five
Maiden flight – July 2001
Introduced – August 2005
Manufacturer – Sikorsky Aircraft Corporation
Importance to Indian Armed Forces
The 24 MH 60 Romeo Seahawk helicopters will help the Indian Navy to play a critical role in the Indian Ocean where China is increasing its presence.
These fourth-generation MH-60Rs `Romeos’ helicopters for the Indian Navy will come loaded with not only torpedoes but missiles too which can be used for anti-submarine and there is expected to be a 30 per cent offset clause as well. The US-based company package is expected to include training, support, spares and air-to-ground weapons too.
These helicopters from the time the contract signed will be delivered in a time frame of five years and will be replacing the British Sea King helicopters.
The approval for these helicopters was given by the Defence Acquisition Council (DAC) in 2018.
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