India is going to get 24 multi-role MH-60 ‘Romeo’ Seahawk helicopters which is specially designed to hunt submarines.
The US has already approved the sale of 24 multi-role MH-60 ‘Romeo’ Seahawk helicopters to India at an estimated cost of 2.6 billion dollars. Designed for hunting submarines as well as knocking out ships and conducting search-and-rescue operations at sea, the Lockheed Martin-built helicopters would replenish India’s aging fleet of British-made Sea King helicopters.
"This proposed sale will support the foreign policy and national security of the United States by helping to strengthen the US-Indian strategic relationship and to improve the security of a major defensive partner," the State Department said in a statement.
India has been in need of these anti-submarine helicopters for more than a decade now.
The Trump administration on Tuesday notified the Congress that it has approved the sale of 24 MH-60R multi-mission helicopters, which will provide the Indian defence forces the capability to perform anti-surface and anti-submarine missions.
The State Department told the Congress that this deal will support the foreign policy and national security by helping to strengthen US-Indian strategic relationship.
The sale will improve the security of a major defence partner which continues to be an important force for political stability, peace, and economic progress in the Indo-Pacific and South Asia regions, it 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,' said the notification.
India will use the enhanced capability as a deterrent to regional threats and to strengthen its homeland defence, the notification said. India will have no difficulty absorbing these helicopters into its armed forces.
The sale and support will not alter the basic military balance in the region, it said.
Currently deployed with the US Navy as the primary anti-submarine warfare anti-surface weapon system for open ocean and littoral zones, these copters are considered the most advanced maritime helicopter.
Industry experts say it is the most capable naval helicopter available today designed to operate from frigates, destroyers, cruisers and aircraft carriers.
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 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.