Hindustan Times reports that the Indian Navy detachment including around 15 officers, began their training to fly and maintain the Sikorsky MH-60R Seahawk Maritime Helicopter at Pensacola in Florida on Monday. Two of the MH-60R will be delivered to the Indian Navy next month, with the third delivery planned around the year-end. In April. the Indian Navy’s first Sikorsky MH-60R Seahawk anti-submarine warfare (ASW) helicopter has conducted its maiden flight from Lockheed Martin’s Owego site in New York.
In May 2020, Lockheed unit Sikorsky signed a $905 million contract with the US Navy to produce 24 MH-60Rs. Twenty-one of the rotorcraft were earmarked for the Indian navy under the auspices of the Foreign Military Sales process, and three for the US Navy (USN). At the time, Sikorsky said the first Indian delivery was anticipated in the spring of 2021. The three USN helicopters were to aid accelerated training for Indian personnel.
The MH-60R deal will be conducted under the US government’s Foreign Military Sales (FMS) process. The DSCA package includes the 24 helicopters as well as weapons, sensors, support equipment, and services that are consistent with a high-end ASW and anti-surface warfare (ASuW) capability. Weapons include AGM-114 Hellfire missiles, Advanced Precision Kill Weapons System (APKWS) rockets, Mk54 torpedoes, and two-types of crew served guns.
The Sikorsky SH-60/MH-60 Seahawk (or Sea Hawk) is a twin turboshaft engine, multi-mission United States Navy helicopter based on the United States Army UH-60 Black Hawk and a member of the Sikorsky S-70 family. The MH-60R was originally known as “LAMPS Mark III Block II Upgrade” when development began in 1993 with Lockheed Martin (formerly IBM/Loral). Offensive capabilities are improved by the addition of new Mk-54 air-launched torpedoes and Hellfire missiles.