On Friday, the Indian Navy got two MH-60 Romeo Helicopters from the US. The 2 helicopters are the first in line of orders made by the Indian Navy and it will receive 22 more such helicopters. India will be procuring a total of 24 of these MHR (Multi Role Helicopters) at an estimated cost of $2.4 billion. The helicopters are manufactured by Lockheed Martin, a US based aerospace, defence and security company.
On Friday, the US Navy handed over the first 2 MH-60 Romeo MHR to the Indian Navy at the US based Naval Air Station in San Diego. The Indian Navy will be procuring as many as 24 of these helicopters made by one of the biggest defence manufacturing company Lockheed Martin at an estimated cost of $2.4 billion. The Indian defence ministry had approved the purchase of these multi role helicopters in 2020, a few weeks before US President Donald Trump visited India.
With much fanfare, a ceremony was organized at the San Diego Naval Air Station which was attended by the India’s Ambassador to US, Mr. Taranjit Singh Sandhu. Along with the ambassador, US Vice Adm. Kenneth Whitesell, Deputy Chief of the Naval Staff, Vice Adm. Ravneet Singh, and members of US Navy leadership and Lockheed Martin were also present at the ceremony.
“Inclusion of helicopters milestone in US-India defence ties”
In the ceremony, the documents of exchange were exchanged between Vice Adm. Kenneth Whitesell and Vice Adm. Ravneet Singh. After the documents were exchanged, India’s ambassador to the US, Mr. Sandhu said how the inclusion of these multi-role helicopters is a milestone in the bilateral defence ties of India and the United States of America. He also added how the Indian bilateral trade has expanded to over $20 billion in the last few years.
Watch the glory of MH-60 Romeos Here
Taking to Twitter, Mr. Sandhu shared a video where the two helicopters were seen carrying a flag of the US and a flag of India each. Reportedly he also added how US and India are both collaborating on co-development and co-production of defence platforms, an initiative that goes beyond just defence trade.
🇮🇳🇺🇸 Friendship Touching the Skies! pic.twitter.com/QWsdkPsNTf
— Taranjit Singh Sandhu (@SandhuTaranjitS) July 17, 2021
More About the MH-60 Romeo
MH-60 Romeo is one of the most advanced all-weather, multi-mission helicopters that’s deployed internationally. According to reports, the inclusion of the helicopters will further deepen the Navy’s 3-dimensional capabilities. Interestingly, the helicopters will be modified accordingly to India-unique capabilities and weapons.
US Navy handed over two MH-60 'Romeo' multi-mission heavyduty helicopters to Indian Navy,which is procuring 24 of these multi-role helicopters manufactured by Lockheed Martin.
MH60-R is armed with Hellfire missiles,MK-54 torpedoes & multi-mode radar,Night Vision devices.#MH60R pic.twitter.com/GTjc8qVQrF
— Desert Scorpion🦂🇮🇳 (@Delta4Tango) July 17, 2021
Helicopter Comes with Most Advanced Sonar System
In a Mail Today report, Indian Navy officials said how MH-60s will come with 4 weapon stations – double than those on the US helicopters, leading them to have more depth and flexibility. The Indian versions of the helicopters will carry the FLASH sonar, developed by the French – claimed by the Indian Navy to be better than the US Navy’s HELRAS.
The French Folding Light Acoustic System (FLASH) Sonar is low-frequency sonar that’s used by the navy helicopters to detect, track and even attack submarines. Further, the helicopters carry Mark 56 torpedoes – the world’s most advanced torpedoes.
Helicopters Work in Tandem with P-8I Poseidon
Another advantage of having the MH-60 Romeos is that these helicopters can work in tandem with the P-8I Poseidon – an anti-submarine aircraft developed by Boeing. The helicopters are embarked on frigates and destroyers as such vessel has 2 multi-role helicopters. The total of 24 MH-60 Romeos will be delivered to the Indian Navy in the next 5 years.