India seeks MH 60 Romeo Seahawk helicopters from America.

India seeks MH 60 Romeo Seahawk helicopters from America.

November 17, 2018.

Defense industry sources here said on Friday that India has sought 24 multi-role MH-60 ‘Romeo’ anti-submarine helicopters from America for its Navy at an estimated cost of USD 2 billion. The country has been in need of these formidable anti-submarine hunter helicopters for more than a decade now.  US Vice President Mike Pence held a successful meeting with Prime Minister Narendra Modi in Singapore on the sidelines of a regional summit. The deal is expected to be finalized in a few months.

Sources said that India had sent a letter of request to the US for an “urgent need” of 24 multi-role helicopters–MH 60 Romeo Seahawk. The Trump administration opening up America’s high-tech military hardware for India’s defense needs, in recent months, because the bilateral defence relationship was on top of the agenda of the Modi-Pence meeting in Singapore on Wednesday.

The meeting is likely to be followed by a summit-level bilateral in Argentina on the sidelines of the G-20 meeting between Prime Minister Modi and US President Donald Trump on November 30 and December 1. The sources said the MH-60 Romeo deal is expected to have an offset need. India planned to follow up this urgent need with a long-term plan to make 123 of that kind of helicopters in India, sources indicated.

Experts say that due to the aggressive behavior of China in the Indian Ocean region, MH-60 Romeo Seahawks helicopter is the need of the time and it would add lethal capabilities of the Indian Navy. They also said that it is the most capable naval helicopter available today designed to operate from frigates, destroyers, cruisers and aircraft carriers. “With this Seahawk deal, the overall US-India defense trade will surpass USD 20 billion.” “The pipeline of opportunities for US defense firms can result in another USD 5 billion of sales in the next few years.”

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. The MH-60R and its mission systems have replaced the US naval fleet’s legacy SH-60B and SH-60F aircraft. The MH-60R Seahawks act as the Navy’s next generation submarine hunter and anti-surface warfare helicopter and is considered to be the cornerstone of the Navy’s Helicopter Concept of Operations.

 

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