India receives two more US-made MH-60R multi-role helicopters. These helicopters will be deployed on India’s indigenous aircraft carrier INS Vikrant.

India on Thursday received the first lot of two US-made MH 60R multi-role helicopters to boost the country’s maritime capabilities. It will get one more helicopter next month.

In 2020, India signed an agreement with the United States government to purchase 24 MH 60R multi-role helicopters. Last year, the US handed over three helicopters to India, which are being used for training Indian Navy pilots in Pensacola, Florida, and San Diego.

Indian Navy spokesperson Commander Vivek Madhwal said delivery of all 24 MH 60R helicopters will be completed by 2025. “The induction of advanced mission capable platforms will significantly enhance the integral ASW capability of the Indian Navy,” he said.

During US President Donald Trump’s visit to India in February 2020, the two countries signed a $2.2 billion deal to purchase 24 US-made MH-60R helicopters.

It should be noted that the Navy has been facing an acute shortage of helicopters in its frontline warships. The MH-60R helicopters are replacements for the already retired Sea King 42/42A helicopters.

These helicopters are envisioned to operate from frontline ships and aircraft carriers. They will provide the critical features of operational flexibility, enhanced surveillance, and attack capabilities.

The MH-60R, one of the most capable naval helicopters currently available, will allow India to more effectively monitor the seas for Chinese ships and submarines.

File photo of a MH-60R helicopter (Photo: Mail Today)

In addition to performing search and rescue, medical, ship-to-ship replenishment, troop transport, and humanitarian relief operations, the MH-60R is capable of identifying underwater enemies, detecting enemy threats and defeating threats, and sharing information with other assets. It can operate from two ships and even side by side from two shores.

The MH-60R’s APS-147 Multimode Radar (MMR) can automatically discover and track 255 targets with inverse synthetic aperture radar (ISAR) imaging, acoustic detection, periscope, and small target detection features and can provide long-range MH-60R helicopters. And short-range search capabilities.

The MH-60R is also equipped with AN/AQS-22 low frequency tunable sonar, Raytheon’s AAS-44 forward-looking infrared radar, Lockheed Martin electronic support equipment, and a data link.

Benefits of MH-60R helicopter:

  • The Indian MH-60 Romeo is superior to US technology and can carry more dunking sonar named French FLASH than the US Navy. 
  • MH-60R has a total of 4 weapon stations, which makes it more mission flexible than others. It is also double-durable as other US helicopters. 
  • It has a Folding Light Acoustic System and a low-frequency wideband sonar that helps fetch information about enemy submarines, detect and locate helicopters, and attack them. 
  • Besides, It can carry two Mark 54, one of the lightweight and most advanced air-dropped torpedoes globally. 
  • It can access various data types from multi-role choppers and sonobuoys that are floating aircraft-based sensors. Consider it’s helpful to attack submarines and warships and also help with surveillance at the same time. 
  • This MH-60R works with P-8I, dropping over 30 sonobuoys to listen to the submarine’s activity. 
  • It has a speed of 40 knots and a 20 kilometers range that is ever-present in our Indian Navy’s inventory. 

Indian Navy uses this beast to enhance its capabilities to defend against regional threats and strengthen the home ground. In addition, India will introduce this to their armed forces to combat rival countries like China and Pakistan. 

MH-60R helicopters

Characteristics of MH-60 Romeo:

  • This MH-60 can carry Lots of things at the same time. For example, optoelectronic reconnaissance devices, hydroacoustic navigation buoy, and marine surveillance radar to detect fire weapons. 
  • It also has a superpower: landing on and taking off the deck in appalling weather conditions. Moreover, the MH-60 also works pretty well in both fire support and anti-surface warfare for marines at the same time. 
  • This helicopter has the Power to use AGM-114 Hellfire anti-tank missiles, Mk 46 anti-submarine torpedoes, APKWS guided rockets and AGM-119 Penguin anti-ship missiles. 
  • Most importantly, It left behind the Russian helicopters due to its features specializing in anti-ship missions and anti-submarine. 
  • The MH-60Rs is made with an immense tolerance of explosive in medium-caliber but minimal tolerance for its arms fire. 
  •  It also has a fitted Load-limiting crew seat and energy-absorbing landing gear. 
  • Lastly, the helicopter has unique control of ballistically hardened flight controls and also dual-redundancy.