India and the US have signed a deal for the procurement of MH-60R Seahawk multi-mission helicopters for the Indian Navy.

Under the $2.12bn deal, 24 MH-60R Seahawk helicopters will be purchased to replace Sea King helicopters.

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The signing comes after the Indian Cabinet Committee on Security (CCS) approved the procurement last week.

Out of the 24 choppers, the delivery of the first six is expected to take place early next year. These vehicles are currently produced by Lockheed Martin company, Sikorsky.

The remaining units are expected to be delivered over the next two years. A $930m deal has also been signed for the procurement of six Apache armed choppers for the Indian Army. These choppers will be manufactured by Boeing.

US President Donald Trump was quoted by local media as saying: “Earlier today, we expanded our defence co-operation with agreements for India to purchase more than $3bn of advanced American military equipment, including Apache and MH-60R helicopters, the finest in the world. These will enhance our joint defence capabilities as our militaries continue to train and operate side by side.”

The MH-60 aircraft is expected fill the Indian Navy’s requirement gaps. The navy currently owns a few ageing Sea King and Kamov choppers.

The aircraft are designed to conduct a range of operations, such as anti-submarine warfare, anti-surface warfare, vertical replenishment, surveillance, search and rescue, personnel transport, and logistics support.