- The MH-60s will take the place of the Sea King choppers, which will be leaving the force very soon.
- The choppers are made to hunt submarines, attack ships, and do search-and-rescue missions at sea.
India is moving closer to approving a plan to buy American weapons, such as Hellfire missiles and Mark 54 anti-submarine torpedoes for its MH-60 Romeo multirole helicopters.
The Indian Navy has ordered 24 of these helicopters in a fast-track deal worth more than USD 2 billion in 2020, and they need to be armed so they can carry out operations.
The proposal to buy the weapons package for the MH-60 Romeo helicopters is well along in the Defense Ministry, and talks are also going on with the U.S. government to close the USD 300 million deal through the Foreign Military Sales route.
The Hellfire missile is a precision-guided missile that has been used by American forces against high-value targets like major Islamist terrorists like Al Jawahiri. The MK 54 lightweight torpedoes are used by US surface ships, fixed-wing aircraft, and helicopters. They are their main weapon against submarines.
It is already in use on the Indian Navy’s P-8I anti-submarine warfare and surveillance planes.
India and the US signed a deal worth over 16,000 crores for India to buy 24 MH-60 Romeo helicopters from Lockheed Martin in 2020. This was done through a fast-track procedure for a government-to-government deal to speed up the process.
The 24 MH-60 Romeos would be equipped with multi-mode radars and night-vision devices. They would also be armed with missiles, torpedoes, and other precision-guided weapons.
The MH-60s will take the place of the Sea King choppers, which will be leaving the force very soon.
The MH-69 helicopters can be used from frigates, destroyers, cruisers, and aircraft carriers.
The choppers are made to hunt submarines, attack ships, and do search-and-rescue missions at sea.