Indian Navy to receive first Sikorsky MH 60R Seahawk helicopters
The Indian Navy is scheduled to receive its first three Sikorsky MH-60R Seahawk multi-mission maritime helicopters later this year, Livefist reported. India signed a contract on Feb. 25 with the U.S to procure 24 Sikorsky MH-60R Seahawk maritime multi-mission helicopters for the Indian Navy earlier this year.
Lockheed Martin, the parent company of Sikorsky, was recently awarded a USD 905 million contract to deliver 24 MH-60Rs to the Indian Navy. The contract, being executed under the U.S. Foreign Military Sales (FMS) program, was awarded by the U.S. Navy’s Naval Air Systems Command (NAVAIR).
According to the Pentagon contract announcement released at the time, three MH-60Rs are for the U.S. Navy and 21 MH-60Rs are for the government of India. With this, three MH-60Rs which were fully built and originally earmarked for the U.S. Navy will be supplied to India. According to the new Livefist report, these three airframes will be diverted for delivery to India, which is expected later this year, after stipulated modifications. The report added that the first of the remaining 21 helicopters will be delivered in Spring 2021.
Indian Navy’s MH-60R helicopters will be based on the existing Royal Saudi Naval Forces (RSNF) MH-60R baseline with some modifications. The helicopters will replace the Navy’s aging fleet of Sikorsky UH-3H Sea King and Westland Sea King Mk.42B helicopters. The MH-60Rs will provide the Indian Navy the capability to perform anti-surface warfare (ASuW) and anti-submarine warfare (ASW) missions along with the ability to perform secondary missions including vertical replenishment (VERTREP), search-and-rescue (SAR), and communications relay.