Defence

Indian navy getting MH-60R Seahawk from USA

By Defence View

The Indian Navy’s first MH-60R production helicopter conducted its maiden flight in Owego, New York in April 2021. The flight was carried out at Lockheed Martin’s Rotary and Mission Systems (RMS) plant. In February 2020, India and the US had signed a deal for the procurement of MH-60R Seahawk helicopters for the Indian Navy.

Under the $2.12 billion deal, 24 x MH-60R Seahawk helicopters will be purchased. Delivery of the first six is expected to take place within 2021. America’s Sikorsky Aircraft (now part of Lockheed Martin) developed the MH-60R Seahawk multi-mission naval helicopter, also called ‘Romeo’, in order to replace the US Navy’s legacy SH-60B and SH-60F helicopter fleet.

Developed from a SH-60B, the first MH-60R helicopter made its first flight in July 2001. The first two new-build MH-60Rs were delivered to the US Navy in August 2005. The first Helicopter Maritime Strike Squadron (HSM) 71 equipped with MH-60Rs was established by the US Navy at Naval Air Station (NAS) North Island, San Diego, in October 2007. The US Navy received the 200th MH-60R in November 2014.

Under the $2.12 billion deal, 24 x MH-60R Seahawk helicopters will be purchased. Delivery of the first six is expected to take place within 2021.

Presently, the US Navy is the main operator of the MH-60R with 289 units in its fleet. In 2019, the US State Department approved export of the MH-60R to ROK Navy (South Korea) as well as for the Hellenic Navy.

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