US approves sale of MH-60R Seahawk helicopters to India

3 April 2019 (Last Updated April 3rd, 2019 11:38)

The US Government has agreed to the potential sale of 24 MH-60R Seahawk multi-mission helicopters and associated equipment to the Indian Navy.

The US Government has agreed to the potential sale of 24 MH-60R Seahawk multi-mission helicopters and associated equipment to the Indian Navy.

The possible foreign military sale is valued at around $2.6bn.

Congress has been notified by the Defense Security Cooperation Agency (DSCA) of the potential sale, which also includes 30 APS-153(V) multi-mode radars, 60 T700-GE-401C engines, 24 airborne low frequency system (ALFS), and 30 AN/AAS-44C(V) multi-spectral targeting systems.

India has also sought 54 embedded global positioning / inertial navigation systems (EGI) with selective availability / anti-spoofing module (SAASM), 1,000 AN/SSQ-36/53/62 sonobuoys, and ten AGM-114 Hellfire missiles.

“India will use the enhanced capability as a deterrent to regional threats and to strengthen its homeland defence.”

The sale will also include 12 GAU-21 crew-served guns, two naval strike missile emulators, four naval strike missile captive inert training missiles, and one MH-60B/R excess defence article (EDA) USN legacy aircraft.

As per the DSCA release, the US will also provide AN/AVS-9 night vision devices, AN/ARC-220 high-frequency radios, and AN/APX-123 identification friend or foe (IFF) transponders, among others.

India will receive personnel training and training equipment, as well as support in the form of engineering, technical and logistics support services.

The DSCA noted that the acquisition of the helicopters and weapons will support political stability, peace, and economic progress in the Indo-Pacific and South Asia region and also enhance the strategic relationship between India and the US.

India’s Navy can deploy the Seahawk helicopters to conduct anti-surface and anti-submarine warfare missions.

The helicopters can also be used to carry out vertical replenishment, search and rescue, and communications relay.

In a statement, DSCA said: “India will use the enhanced capability as a deterrent to regional threats and to strengthen its homeland defence. India will have no difficulty absorbing these helicopters into its armed forces.”

Lockheed Martin Rotary and Mission Systems will act as the principal contractor for the programme.