MH-60R Multi-Role Helicopters
As per defence authorities, first batch of three MH-60R Multi-Role Helicopters is likely to arrive India by July 2022. Indian Navy had ordered the MH-60R Multi-Role Helicopters from the United States.
- A case is also being prepared to purchase six Kamov Ka-31 early warning helicopters.
- Three helicopters were sent to Indian Navy in United States in July 2021. They are currently being used to teach Indian pilots in Pensacola, San Diego and Florida.
- It is going to be Indian Navy’s first significant induction of helicopters for deployment on ships in decades.
- According to Indian Navy, helicopters would be outfitted with several India-specific equipment and armaments.
- MH-60R helicopters will replace Sea King 42/42A helicopters, which were decommissioned in 1990s.
- These helicopters will operate from frontline ships and aircraft carriers. Thus, providing them the crucial traits of flexibility, assault capacity and enhanced surveillance.
Purchase of Kamov Ka-31 helicopters
Defence Acquisition Council is also reviewing the case to purchase six Kamov Ka-31 airborne and early warning helicopters from Russia (DAC). In November 2020, Contract Negotiation Committee was set up while commercial bids were opened in September 2021. Some discrepancies from “Request For Proposal (RFP)” have been identified and are being resolved.
When was deal for MH-60R helicopters signed?
India signed a deal of worth USD 2.2 billion to purchase Lockheed Martin’s MH-60R helicopters, during the visit of then-US President Donald Trump’s to India in February 2020. All deliveries should be completed by 2025.
Buy Global Deals
Indian Navy is undergoing severe shortage of helicopters on its frontline warships. Despite that, helicopter purchase has been routinely postponed. Under DAC’s evaluation of all ‘Buy Global deals’, contract for 111 Naval Utility Helicopters (NUH) is being scrutinised. Tender is being completed under Strategic Partnership method of procurement procedure. Big order for 123 multi-role helicopters is in progress. Apart from that, Indian navy has submitted a Request for Information (RFI) in April 2021, to lease 24 light helicopters for cover the deficit.