Sikorsky MH-60 Seahawk
India and USA have already finalized defence deals of US dollar 2.6 billion of which 24 MH 60 Romeo Helicopter will be delivered to Indian Navy.
This deal was signed when Donald Trump visited India in February 2020. During that time a total of US dollar 3 billion defence deals were signed between India and USA which included 30 military helicopters. The other 6 helicopters are AH-64 Apache. This deal was signed under the G2G deal of U.S foreign military sales FMS program.
These Romeo helicopters are replacement for the Sea King 42 helicopters which were decommissioned by Indian Navy in the 1990s. These choppers will serve as air support for the front line in ships and Aircraft carriers which will increase the flexibility of operation surveillance and attacking capability of Indian Navy.
These helicopters will be delivered to Indian Navy in January 2021. These helicopters are as important for Indian Navy as you can understand by the fact that India has taken to MH 60 Romeo helicopter on lease from the US after Indo China conflict in Galwan valley. This helicopter will be serving on lease until the Romeo helicopter first batch arrives from us in 2021. These helicopters are best in killing submarines deep inside the ocean. They are also called submarine hunters.
Currently, the Indian Ocean region is going through security threat from Chinese submarines so these helicopters are must deploy in IOR to restrict Chinese confederation. These helicopters can be deployed for offensive and defensive roles including search and rescue operation, low and high-intensity Maritime operation, Anti-ship strike and anti-submarine warfare. There are also capable of network-centric operation and electronic warfare.
Lockheed Martin will also transfer technology of this helicopter to India which will help in the manufacturing of this helicopter its production and services contributing in make in India initiative. This will also help India in acquiring niche technology for helicopters which will outclass Chinese or Pakistani technology.
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.