India, US to sign $300 Mn deal for missiles, torpedoes for Indian Navy’s MH-60R choppers

The Indian Government is expected to soon clear a proposal worth $300 Million (Rs 2400 Crores) to buy Hellfire missiles and Mark-54 anti-submarine torpedoes from United States (US). These weapons will subsequently be equipped on the 24 MH-60R Seahawk anti-submarine warfare and anti-surface warfare helicopters that are currently in the process of being inducted into the Indian Navy.

Notably, previously India and the US have signed an over $2 Billion (Rs 14,000 Crores) contract for the procurement of 24 MH-60 Romeo helicopters for the Indian Navy from Lockheed Martin in 2020 under fast-track procedures in a government-to-government (G2G) deal. Till now, the IN has received six Lockheed Martin/Sikorsky MH-60R Seahawk anti-submarine warfare and anti-surface warfare helicopters. The delivery of all 24 MH 60R helicopters will be completed by 2025.

As of now, the proposal for buying the weapons package for the MH-60 Romeo helicopters is at an advanced stage with the Indian Ministry of Defence (MoD) and most likely the deal will be concluded through the Foreign Military Sales (FMS) route.

The Hellfire missile is a precision-guided missile and has been used by American forces against high-value targets including major Islamist terrorists like Al Jawahiri. The MK 54 lightweight torpedoes are used by US surface ships, fixed-wing aircraft and helicopters, and are their primary anti-submarine warfare weapon.

About MH-60R Helicopters

MH-60R Seahawk is a multi-mission helicopter manufactured by Sikorsky Aircraft and is considered to be the world’s most advanced maritime helicopter. The helicopter is equipped for a range of missions, including anti-submarine warfare (ASW), anti-surface warfare (ASuW), search-and-rescue (SAR), naval gunfire support (NGFS), surveillance, communications relay, logistics support and personnel transfer, and vertical replenishment (VERTREP).

These helicopters can operate from frigates, destroyers, cruisers, and aircraft carriers. The choppers are designed for an anti-submarine role as well as anti-ship tasks and conducting search-and-rescue operations at sea.

The MH-60s are going to replace the obsolete Sea King choppers with the Indian Navy and which are about to be phased out soon. The induction of state of the art mission capable platforms will significantly boost the integral ASW capability of the Indian Navy.

Image Courtesy: