India to get MH 60 Romeo Seahawk multi-mission helicopters: Here is what makes them special

ZeeBiz WebTeam | Apr 03, 2019, 05:56 PM IST

Badly in need to replace its aging fleet of British-made Sea King helicopters, India has reached an understanding with United Stated to receive formidable anti-submarine hunter helicopters. According to the State Department, the US has approved the sale of 24 multi-role MH-60 'Romeo' Seahawk helicopters to India at an estimated cost of $2.4 billion. The anti-submarine hunter helicopters are also designed for knocking out ships and conducting search-and-rescue operations at sea. said a PTI report, adding that the Lockheed Martin-built helicopters would replenish India's fleet. 


The Trump Administration on Tuesday notified the Congress that it has approved sale of 24 MH-60R multi-mission helicopters, which will provide the Indian defence forces the capability to perform anti-surface and anti-submarine warfare missions. Image source: Official website


The Congressional notification said, "The proposed sale will provide India the capability to perform anti-surface and anti-submarine warfare missions along with the ability to perform secondary missions including vertical replenishment, search and rescue, and communications relay." Image source: Official website


India will use the enhanced capability as a deterrent to regional threats and to strengthen its homeland defense, the notification said, adding that India will have no difficulty absorbing these helicopters into its armed forces. The proposed sale, at an estimated cost of USD2.4 billion, will not alter the basic military balance in the region, it said. Image source: Reuters


Currently deployed with the US Navy as the primary anti-submarine warfare anti-surface weapon system for open ocean and littoral zones, the MH-60 'Romeo' Seahawk helicopters are considered the world's most advanced maritime helicopter. Image source: Reuters


MH-60 Romeo Seahawks would add lethal capabilities of the Indian Navy, which experts say is the need of the hour given the aggressive behaviour of China in the Indian Ocean region. According to US Naval Air System Command, the MH-60R Seahawk missions are anti-submarine warfare, anti-surface warfare, surveillance, communications relay, combat search and rescue, naval gunfire support and logistics support. Image source: Reuters


As the Navy's next generation submarine hunter and anti-surface warfare helicopter, the MH-60R Seahawk is considered to be the cornerstone of the Navy's Helicopter Concept of Operations. It is the most capable naval helicopter available today designed to operate from frigates, destroyers, cruisers and aircraft carriers, industry experts added. Image source: Reuters