At Cochin International Airport, the American Navy delivered two MH-60 R multipurpose helicopters to the Indian Navy. All 24 MH 60R helicopters will be delivered by the end of 2025, with the third helicopter due to arrive in August of this year. Under its Foreign Military Sales (FMS) programme, the US Department of State has authorised the sale of 24 MH-60R multi-mission helicopters to India. The potential is about USD 2.6 billion.
- With the proposed sale, India will have the ability to carry out secondary tasks including vertical replenishment, search and rescue operations, and communications relay in addition to anti-surface and anti-submarine warfare operations. India will use the improved capabilities to reinforce its domestic defence and act as a deterrent to regional threats.
- Under its Foreign Military Sales (FMS) programme, the US had already authorised the sale of 24 MH-60R multi-mission helicopters to India in 2019. To increase the security of a significant defensive partner in the Indo-Pacific area, the approval was given.
- The most cutting-edge maritime multi-mission helicopter in operation right now is the MH-60R. Modern mission-capable platforms will considerably improve the Indian Navy’s overall capabilities to conduct anti-submarine warfare.
- In 2021, the US received the first three MH 60 ‘Romeo’ helicopters, which are now being used to educate the crew of the Indian Navy.
- As part of an around $15,000 crore contract with the US government and in accordance with the framework of foreign military sales, India is purchasing the helicopters. Modern avionics and sensors equip the all-weather MH-60R helicopter, made by Lockheed Martin Corporation, to handle a variety of missions.
According to the Navy, the helicopters will be useful for a variety of tasks, such as anti-submarine warfare, ship strikes, specialised maritime operations, and search and rescue missions.