The official US government contract notice published yesterday is for the production and delivery of three MH-60R Seahawk maritime aircraft for the Navy and 21 MH-60Rs for the government of India. Work is expected to be complete by September 2024.
“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.”
Tom Kane, Director, Sikorsky Naval Helicopter Programs
In February 2020, India became the latest country to add 24 MH-60Rs to its fleet. It has to be noted that the weapons package for these helicopters is till being negotiated: The original “possible foreign military sale” announcement issued in April last year mentioned a price of an estimated cost of $2.6 billion.
For the record, the Indian Navy MH-60R weapons package is expected to include Kongsberg’s Naval Strike Missile in its helicopter launched variant (known as NSM-HL).
In 2019, the U.S. State Department approved similar deals for the ROK Navy (South Korea) as well as for the Hellenic Navy. So far, the Romeo has been selected by the navies of the United States, Denmark, Australia and Saudi Arabia.
About MH-60R “Romeo” maritime helicopter
The U..S Navy is the main operator of the MH-60R with 289 units in its fleet. It is the primary anti-submarine warfare and anti-surface warfare helicopter in the fleet.
The MH-60R combines the features of the SH-60B and SH-60F aircraft. Its sensors package includes an MTS-FLIR, the AN/APS-147 multi-mode radar/IFF interrogator, an advanced airborne fleet data link, and a more advanced airborne active low frequency sonar (ALFS). Offensive capabilities are improved by the addition of new Mk-54 air-launched torpedoes and AGM-114 Hellfire missiles.