United States, on Thursday, awarded ‘firm-fixed-price, cost-plus-fixed-fee’ contract for 21 MH-60 Romeo to Lockheed Martin for India Navy’s multi-role helicopters programme. Lockheed will get $791,700,000 from US government for the Indian programme.
On April 2, 2019, US approved “Foreign Military Sale (FMS) to India of twenty-four (24) MH-60R Multi-Mission helicopters for an estimated cost of $2.6 billion.
The MH-60R will provide India the capability to perform anti-surface and anti-submarine warfare missions along with the ability to perform secondary missions including vertical replenishment, search and rescue, and communications relay.
Speaking on the occasion, Tom Kane, Director, Sikorsky Naval Helicopter Programs (part of LM), “India’s selection of the MH-60R ‘Romeo’ multi-mission helicopter provides the Indian Navy with the most advanced anti-surface/anti-submarine warfare helicopter in operation today. The MH-60R offers the lowest risk and best value option because the aircraft is already in full production and globally supportable.”
“The MH-60R provides a vital capability in the Indo-Pacific region and equips the Indian Navy with a tremendous capability that is ready for operations immediately upon delivery. We thank the government of India for its confidence in Sikorsky and look forward to supporting our partners in the Indian armed forces over the next 30 years,” he added.
The choppers will come armed with AN/SSQ-36/53/62 sonobuoys, AGM-114 Hellfire missiles, Advanced Precision Kill Weapons System (APKWS) rockets, MK 54 torpedoes, M-240D Crew Served guns, and GAU-21 Crew Served guns.
India is pursuing naval helicopter modernisation programmes which include 123 multirole helicopter and 111 naval utility programmes through strategic partnership to be made in India through collaboration with foreign contractors.