Indian Navy: Two new MH-60R choppers arrive in India from the US
India had ordered 24 Lockheed Martin-Sikorsky MH-60R helicopters from the US in 2020 to strengthen the navy’s anti-submarine/anti-surface warfare and surveillance capabilities
The Indian Navy on Thursday took the delivery of two MH-60R multi-role helicopters at Kochi as part of a 24-chopper deal signed with the United States to modernise India’s ageing naval helicopter fleet, officials familiar with the matter said. The choppers were flown to India from the US in a C-17 heavy-lift aircraft.
India had ordered 24 Lockheed Martin-Sikorsky MH-60R helicopters from the US in 2020 to strengthen the navy’s anti-submarine/anti-surface warfare and surveillance capabilities. The government-to-government contract for the helicopters was worth around ₹14,000 crore, and three of these choppers were earlier delivered to the navy in the US.
“The first three MH 60Rs delivered in US in 2021 are being utilised for training Indian Navy crews. The next three MH-60R helicopters are being delivered to Kochi – two helicopters were received on Thursday and the third helicopter is scheduled to be delivered in August,” the navy said in a statement, adding that India will receive the delivery of all 24 helicopters by 2025.
The choppers are expected to be the mainstay of the navy’s anti-submarine/anti-ship warfare and airborne early-warning capabilities in the coming decades. The navy first moved a case to buy multi-role helicopters, a critical operational necessity, more than 16 years ago.
Armed with AGM-114 Hellfire missiles, MK 54 torpedoes and advanced precision weapons, the twin-engine helicopters can operate from frigates, destroyers and aircraft carriers.