How US-built MH-60 Romeo helicopters will give Indian navy combat edge

India's Cabinet Committee on Security(CCS)  approved a deal to procure a batch of 24 Lockheed martin MH-60 Romeo helicopters from the US which would cost the country around $2.4 billion.

President Trump is expected to sign the deal during his India visit. The deal is expected to boost Indian Navy's strike capability with the choppers equipped with hellfire air-to-surface missiles.

MH-60R: A versatile war machine

The MH-60R helicopter is designed to operate from frigates, destroyers, cruisers and aircraft carriers. It already has a proven record having operated with several naval forces around the world including the Dutch, Australian and Saudi forces.

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MH-60R and its battle prowess

The choppers are mainly used for anti-submarine warfare including in search and rescue missions which could prove to be a boon for the Indian Naval forces who fly into several disaster zones across the country.

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MH-60R: A new technological frontier of warfare

Lockheed Martin's MH-60R has sophisticated night vision with fully integrated GPS capable of carrying out operations around the clock. The chopper has an anti-surface weapon system.

The sea hawk which was deployed in the US Navy in 2006 possesses missile approach warning system which will give the Indian Navy an edge during aerial combat.

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MH-60R: Pedigree of the Sikorsky S-70 family

The chopper which is part of Sikorsky S-70 family will likely replace India's ageing fleet of Sea King helicopters which was made in Britain.

It is also likely to be hosted on India's warship which would help the navy to launch strikes or conduct search and rescue operation at short notice.

( Image Courtesy: Lockheed Martin )

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MH-60R: Anti-piracy operations on the high seas

India is also likely to use the US choppers for anti-piracy operations on the high seas including top level surveillance of suspicious ships passing through Indian waters.

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MH-60R: Trump's visit to India brings new military strength

India has been pursuing the MH-60R helicopter for several years, earlier negotiations had broken down four years ago on pricing issues. However, with the government's Indian Ocean strategy in place, it was felt the Navy needed to flex its muscle.

With the approval by the CCS, President Donald Trump will likely sign the deal with PM Modi as India and the US seek to cement their defence ties which has taken great strides in recent years.

The 24 Lockheed Martin MH-60 Romeo helicopters will not only give strategic depth to India's Navy, it will also boost India's maritime ambition which has often been overlooked.

( Image Courtesy: Lockheed Martin )
 

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