The ongoing modernisation of the Navy’s air fleet will get a major boost with the induction of multirole helicopters MH 60 ‘Romeo’ (MH 60-R), procured from US defence major Lockheed Martin. The choppers, considered one of the most advanced maritime helicopters in the world, will be operating from the IAC too, giving teeth to the carrier, which faces an aircraft shortage.
India had concluded with the US a letter of offer and acceptance for the procurement of 24 MH 60-R helicopters in February 2020 at a cost of more than Rs 14,000 crore. The first three MH 60-Rs were delivered to the Indian Navy in the US in 2021 and are being utilised for training the Navy crew there.
Two more were delivered to the Indian Navy in a Boeing C-17 Globemaster transport aircraft of the US Air Force in July in Kochi. Another one is expected to reach soon after the commissioning of the IAC. The delivery of all 24 MH 60-R helicopters will be completed by 2025.
The highly capable naval helicopter is designed to operate from frigates, destroyers, cruisers, and aircraft carriers. The helicopters which have arrived are likely to be inducted later in September so that they can be deployed for carrier-based operations after being armed with precision rockets, torpedoes and missiles.
The induction of state-of-the-art mission-capable platforms will significantly boost the integral antisubmarine warfare capability of the Indian Navy.
It is an all-weather helicopter designed to support multiple missions with state-of-the-art avionics/sensors. The induction of these helicopters will further enhance the Indian Navy’s three-dimensional capabilities.
The Open Magazine of India by Artmotion Network (https://magazine.armotion.com/)