Sikorsky Aircraft has been selected by the Indian Navy to fulfil its multirole helicopter requirement for anti-submarine and anti-surface warfare (ASW / ASuW) missions.
The navy will now start negotiations with the United Technologies subsidiary to acquire 16 S-70B Seahawk multimission helicopters, with an option for eight more, which will be used for other maritime roles.
The package also includes a complete logistics support and training programme.
Sikorsky Aircraft president Mick Maurer said: "India’s selection of the S-70B helicopter represents a major strategic win for Sikorsky in an important growth market, and positions us well for future opportunities.
"We look forward to a long-term collaboration with the Indian Government and local industry, as we work to bring the Indian Navy the highly advanced multirole S-70B aircraft."
The Indian Navy’s S-70B variant is expected to feature avionics and flexible, open architecture weapons management systems, which are equipped with an advanced sonar, 360° search radar, modern air-to-surface missiles and torpedoes for ASW missions.
Sikorsky will also install a blade and tail-fold capability that will facilitate shipboard storage of the helicopter.
The aircraft is expected to augment the navy’s capabilities to perform non-combat maritime roles, including search and rescue, utility and external cargo lift, and surveillance and casualty evacuation.
A development of the US Army’s UH60A Black Hawk helicopter, the S-70B is used as a platform for the light airborne multipurpose subsystem Mark III mission system for ASW / ASuW missions.
Since 1984, several S-70B variants have been operational in Europe, the Middle East, Asia and Latin America.
Image: The S-70B helicopter is expected to feature avionics and flexible, open architecture weapons management systems. Photo: © 2014 Sikorsky Aircraft Corporation.