The ceremony marked the formal transfer of these helicopters from the U.S. Navy to the Indian Navy, which were accepted by His Excellency Taranjit Singh Sandhu, Indian Ambassador to USA. The ceremony also witnessed exchange of helicopter documents between Vice Adm Kenneth Whitesell, Commander Naval Air Forces, US Navy and Vice Adm Ravneet Singh, Deputy Chief of Naval Staff, Indian Navy.
India became the latest country to place an order for 24 MH-60Rs in February 2020. 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 2019 mentioned a price of an estimated cost of $2.6 billion. 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.