The United States Navy (USN) delivered the first two multi-role helicopters Sikorsky MH-60R (MRH) to the Indian Navy on Saturday morning. The official transfer of the helicopters from the US Navy to the Indian Navy was conducted at the North Island Naval Air Station in San Diego, and was received by Indian Ambassador to the US Taranjit Singh Sandhu.
According to the handover protocol, there was also an exchange of documents between Vice Admiral Kenneth Whitesell, Commander of the Navy, US Navy and Vice Admiral Ravneet Singh, Deputy Chief of Staff (DCNS), the Indian Navy .
It is a basically Twin Turboshaft engine, multirole, multi-mission helicopter designed by Sikorsky Aircraft of United States of America. Sikorsky Aircraft company was being founded by Igor Sikorsky in 1923. This company was purchased by Lockheed Martin in 2015 and since it is a subsidiary of Lockheed Martin. Its Headquarter is at Stratford, Connecticut, United States. This company’s Parent Lockheed Corporation was founded in 1926.
Its model and body are based on UH-60 Black Hawk. Currently, it is Build by Lockheed Martin Aeronautics. Its First official flight was being conducted on 12 December 1979 and finally introduced in U.S Air Force in 1984.
Today it is being used by US Navy, Royal Australian Navy, Turkish Naval Forces and Spanish Navy.
Its Production was started in 1979 and till today total 950 different variants of this helicopter has been built. Its unit cost is US $ 43 million of Mh-60R model and US $ 28 million of MH-60S model.
This is a medium-lift transport and utility helicopter. This helicopter is operated by two pilots and 2 operators. Its length is 19.71 meter and 5.23 meter high. Its rotor diameter can cover a cross- width of 16.36 meter. It weighs 7,000 kg which could carry a payload between 2,000-3,000 kg.
It can fly with a maximum speed of 270 km/hr. It has a range of 830 km and it can be equipped with torpedoes, hellfire missiles, Penguin missiles and machine guns. It also has an Advance Precision Kill Weapon System and Rapid Mine Clearance System. Till September 2020 total 950 units of MH-60 Romeo helicopters were produced. In January 2021, 24 helicopters will be delivered to Indian Navy.
|Country of origin||U.S.A|
|Length/ Height/Rotor diameter||19.71 m/5.23 m / 16.36 m|
|Total units made||950|
|Operators||US Navy, Royal Australian Navy, Turkish Naval Forces, Spanish Navy|
After acquiring these helicopters Indian Navy power will certainly increase in Indian Ocean Region which may give rise to fear in Chinese counterpart. Previous Sea Kings helicopters were used only for Maritime patrol purposes but these Romeo helicopters will also conduct attack and defence for Indian warships.
Now Indian Navy operates many island bases in different countries along the Indian Ocean region so it needed a superior air support helicopters to lead their mission but older Sea King helicopters were unable to create Indian dominance which resulted in Chinese rise but the time has changed and modern Indian Navy is equipped with submarine hunters helicopters, submarine hunter Corbett’s and advance attack submarine fleet.