Indian Navy gets first batch of MH-60R Multi Role Helicopters
MH-60R helicopter is an all-weather helicopter designed to support multiple missions with state of the art avionics and sensors
In a move that could augment Indian Navy’s capabilities, the first two of 24 MH-60 R Multi Role Helicopters purchased from the Lockheed Martin Corporation, were handed over to India by the US Navy in a simple ceremony held at its Naval Air Station North Island, San Diego on Friday.
MH-60R helicopter is an all-weather helicopter designed to support multiple missions with state of the art avionics and sensors. As many as 24 MH-60R helicopters are being procured under Foreign Military Sales from the US government. The helicopters would also be modified with several India Unique Equipment and weapons.
According to the Ministry of Defence, the helicopter handing over ceremony marked the formal transfer of these helicopters from US Navy to Indian Navy, which were accepted by Indian Ambassador to the US Taranjit Singh Sandhu.
The ceremony also witnessed exchange of helicopter documents between Vice Adm Kenneth Whitesell, Commander Naval Air Forces, US Navy and Vice Adm Ravneet Singh, Deputy Chief of Naval Staff (DCNS), Indian Navy.
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.
This development will add to the Indian Navy’s anti-submarine warfare capabilities in the Indian Ocean region.
This comes against the backdrop of China actively building up its naval forces and deploying submarines in the Indian Ocean region, raising its profile away from home. In recent years, Chinese submarine presence in the Indian Ocean region, a major west to east trade route, has been a cause of concern for India.
The fourth-generation MH-60R 'Romeo' helicopters will replace India’s British Sea King helicopters acquired in the 1970s. The submarine-hunting choppers will come equipped with torpedoes and missiles.
Besides anti-submarine warfare, the helicopters will have the capacity to handle anti-surface warfare operations and search and rescue operations including combat search and rescue. They will also have the capability to carry out naval special warfare insertions and medical evacuations.