The Indian Navy has received its first two MH-60R Seahawk anti-submarine and maritime patrol helicopters, reported by the US Pacific Fleet press service.
The newly delivered aircraft will remain at the US naval base in San Diego, where Indian pilots undergo training, the remaining 22 helicopters will be delivered to New Delhi when they are released. The contract is expected to end in 2024.
It’s one of finest Anti Submarine Warfare Helicopter in the world. See Submarine threat is a major one to any nation. So having appropriate counter measure are need of hour especially India is facing Submarine threat in Indian Ocean Region through ever raising number of both conventional & Nuclear Powered Submarine. For the same Indian Navy operates P8I poisedon and now bought MH 60 R.
In the fall of 2018, the Indian Ministry of Defense asked the US to sell 24 Sikorsky MH-60R multi-role helicopters, including accompanying weapons. On April 2, 2019, the US State Department approved this deal.
In addition to the aircraft, India will receive 30 more APS-153 (V) multi-mode radars, 60 T700-GE-401C engines, 24 airborne low-frequency hydroacoustic navigation systems (ALFS), 1,000 AN sonar buoys /SSQ-36/53/62, AGM-114 Hellfire missiles, 38 APKWS missiles; 70 night vision devices AN/AVS-9.
It is expected that the new Sikorsky MH-60Rs will replace the obsolete Sea King purchased from the UK in the 1980s and the HAL Chetak (licensed copy based on the French Aérospatiale Alouette 3) in the Navy.
According to the assessment, the defense contract of this great value will support Washington’s foreign policy and national security by helping to strengthen the US-India strategic relationship.
The deal also strengthens a major partner’s security capabilities, helping them to continue to be an important force for political stability, peace, and economic progress in the Indian region. Indo-Pacific and South Asia.
The MH-60R Seahawk helicopter will provide India with the ability to perform surface and anti-submarine warfare missions along with secondary roles including search and rescue and communications relay.
Earlier Russia tried to tout its modernized Ka-27 and Ka-32 helicopters to New Delhi, but the Indian government opted for the US MH-60R Seahawk. India’s above decision is actually not difficult to understand, because in addition to balancing the balance of procurement of foreign weapons and equipment, the tactical features of the MH-60R Seahawk are also evaluated far beyond the Ka-32.
The stability of the MH-60R Seahawk helicopter is extremely high, extremely reliable when taking off and landing on the deck even in harsh sea weather conditions. In addition to the traditional submarine-hunting function, the MH-60R Seahawk helicopter also performs well in both anti-surface warfare and fire support for marines.
The MH-60R Seahawk helicopter can carry at the same time a hydroacoustic navigation buoy, an optoelectronic reconnaissance device and a marine reconnaissance radar to guide fire for weapons. The helicopter can use Mk 46 anti-submarine torpedoes, AGM-114 Hellfire anti-tank missiles, AGM-119 Penguin anti-ship missiles as well as APKWS guided rockets.
With all these equipment MH 60 R ticks all the boxes and makes it formidable Anti Submarine Warfare Helicopter.
The above combined feature of the MH-60R Seahawk is not available to any Russian helicopter, as they can only do specialized anti-submarine or anti-ship missions.
The fact that the Indian Navy received the above-mentioned advanced combat vehicles will certainly startle their biggest rival, China.
Although China is also currently trying to make a copy of the MH-60R Seahawk with the designation Z-20, the tactical performance is still considered to be far from the original.