Source : Janes
The Indian Navy (IN) has received six Lockheed Martin/Sikorsky MH-60R Seahawk anti-submarine warfare and anti-surface warfare helicopters.
William Blair, chief executive for Lockheed Martin India, told Janes that the first three MH-60R multirole helicopters have been delivered to the Indian Navy. The company said that these aircraft are operating at naval air station INS Garuda in Kochi, India.
Blair added that three additional MH-60Rs have been delivered to the Indian Navy in San Diego. These three aircraft remain in San Diego as the Indian Navy has “decided to extend the training of pilots, maintenance personnel, and sustainment teams”, he said.
The acquisitions are part of a 24-helicopter, USD2.6 billion Foreign Military Sales (FMS) deal, which was jointly announced by India and the United States in February 2020. Delivery of the fleet is expected to be completed by 2025.
The Indian Navy helicopters are being subjected to some customisation. Blair said the Indian Ministry of Defence (MoD) had requested the inclusion of Buyer Nominated Equipment (BNE), including domestic systems, in the helicopters. Lockheed Martin said that Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) has delivered the first two BNEs – Identification Friend-or-Foe (IFF) transponder units – for the Indian Navy’s MH-60Rs.
“We’re working closely with both Bharat Electronics Limited (BEL) and HAL on the integration of the specific Indian equipment,” he said.
The Indian Navy’s MH-60Rs are also equipped with a mission sensor suite. According to Lockheed Martin, this includes the APS-153 multimode radar with long/short-range search Inverse Synthetic Aperture Radar imaging and periscope detection modes.