Indian Navy receives MH-60 Romeo helicopters from the US

Indian Navy received two MH-60 ‘Romeo’ multi-role helicopters from the US Navy. Read all you need to know.

Created On: Jul 17, 2021 19:54 IST
MH-60R helicopters ceremony, Twitter/ Taranjit Singh Sandhu
MH-60R helicopters ceremony, Twitter/ Taranjit Singh Sandhu

Indian Navy on July 17, 2021, received two MH-60 ‘Romeo’ multi-role helicopters from the US Navy.

India’s Ambassador to the US Taranjit Singh Sandhu attended the ceremony held at the Naval Air Station (NAS) North Island, San Diego on July 16, 2021, wherein the US Navy handed over the first two MH-60R helicopters to the Indian Navy.

Vice Admiral Ravneet Singh, DCNS and Vice Admiral Kenneth Whitesell, Commander Naval Air Forces, US Navy exchanged documents during the ceremony. Lockheed Martin Corporation and Senior leadership, US Navy also attended the ceremony.

In February 2020, India had signed a deal worth $2.4 billion (Rs 16,516 crore) with the US to procure 24 MH-60 Romeo helicopters from Lockheed Martin.

How will MH-60 Romeo helicopters benefit India?

• The induction of MH-60R helicopters is a significant milestone in India-US bilateral defense ties.

• MH-60R helicopters will enhance the three-dimensional capabilities of the Indian Navy. The helicopters will be modified and installed with unique weapons and equipment.

• The Department of Defense stated that MH-60R helicopters will aid India in performing anti-submarine and anti-surface warfare missions as well as performing secondary missions including search and rescue, communications relay, and vertical replenishment.

• With these helicopters in its armed forces, India will strengthen its capabilities to enhance homeland defence and ward off regional threats.

Indian Navy to receive MH-60 Romeo helicopters from the US in July

• Indian Navy was expecting to receive the first set of three of the 24 MH-60 ‘Romeo’ multi-role helicopters from the US in July this year. India and the US had inked a deal worth $2.4 billion (Rs 16,516 crore) in February 2020 to buy 24 MH-60 Romeo helicopters from Lockheed Martin.

• The first batch of Indian pilots has reached the US for training on the helicopters that are scheduled to arrive in India in July 2022. The pilots would undergo training first in the Pensacola in Florida, US, and then in San Diego in California, US.

MH-60 ‘Romeo’: Key features

• The MH-60 Romeo helicopters would be equipped with multi-mode radars and night vision devices, and they would be armed with Hellfire missiles, torpedoes, and precision-guided weaponry.

• The MH-60 helicopters have been designed to operate from cruisers, aircraft carriers destroyers, and frigates. MH-60 helicopters are built to target submarines, ships, and conduct search and rescue operations at sea. The MH-60 will replace Sea Kings.

Indian Navy also inducted three indigenously-built advanced light helicopters ALH MK-III

• The Indian Navy on June 7, 2021, inducted three indigenously-built advanced light helicopters ALH MK-III. The helicopters ALH MK-III will be used for coastal security and maritime reconnaissance.

• The ALH MK-III helicopters have been made by the Centre-run Hindustan Aeronautics Limited. The three ALH MK-III were inducted at the Indian Naval Station (INS) Dega, Eastern Naval Command (ENC) in Visakhapatnam.

• ALH MK-III helicopters are equipped with electro-optical equipment and modern surveillance radar which aids in maritime reconnaissance and offers long-range search and rescue. ALH MK-III is also armed with a heavy machine gun.

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