New Delhi/San Diego: India today took delivery of the first two of the 24 multirole helicopters made by American major Lockheed Martin Corp., boosting its naval aviation prowess including anti-submarine warfare capabilities.
“On Jul. 16, (the) Indian Navy accepted the first two of its MH-60R Multi Role Helicopters (MRH) from the US Navy in a ceremony held at NAS North Island, San Diego,” an official Indian government statement said.
The ceremony marked the formal transfer of these helicopters from the US Navy to the Indian Navy, which were accepted by Taranjit Singh Sandhu, Indian Ambassador to United States of America.
The ceremony also witnessed exchange of helicopter documents between US Navy Commander Naval Air Forces Vice Admiral Kenneth Whitesell and Indian Navy Deputy Chief of Naval Staff Vice Admiral Ravneet Singh.
MH-60R helicopters, manufactured by Lockheed Martin Corporation, is an all-weather helicopter designed to support multiple missions with state-of-the-art avionics and sensors.
Indian Navy is procuring 24 of these helicopters under Foreign Military Sales from the US government. The helicopters would also be modified with several India-unique equipment and weapons.
In order to exploit these potent helicopters, the first batch of Indian crew are presently undergoing training in the US. The induction of these MRH would enhance Indian Navy’s three dimensional warfare capabilities.
“The delivery of the first two MH-60R Romeo helicopters to the Indian Navy marks the beginning of a new era of collaboration and partnership between the United States Navy, the Indian Navy and Sikorsky,” Sikorsky Maritime and Mission Systems vice president Hamid Salim said.
“We are committed to stand shoulder-to-shoulder with the United States Navy to support the Indian naval forces in the future through capability upgrades and sustainment as the aircraft transitions to the Indian Navy.”
“MH-60R is the most advanced maritime multi-mission helicopter in operation – deployed globally, and its mission performance by far, second to none,” Lockheed Martin India vice president and chief executive William L. Blair said.
“We appreciate the tremendous confidence placed in Team Seahawk by the Indian Navy through their selection of the Romeo. We stand committed to making this program a tremendous success in partnership with the United States Navy and the Indian Navy.”