India cleared to buy 24 MH-60R helicopters under potential $2.6B deal

The US State Department has approved a possible sale of 24 MH-60R multi-mission helicopters to India under a deal which, in case it is realized, would cost an estimated $2.6 billion.

In addition to helicopters, the ale would include APS-153(V) multi-mode radars, a thousand sonobuoys, AGM-114 Hellfire missiles, APKWS rockets, MK 54 torpedoes, M-240D and GAU-21 guns, and naval strike missile emulators, among other.

What is more, India has requested the transfer of a legacy MH-60B/R helicopter under the US government’s excess defense article.

Should the deal materialize, Lockheed Martin Rotary and Mission Systems would be the prime contractor.

The helicopters would boost the Indian Navy’s capability to perform anti-surface and anti-submarine warfare missions in addition to vertical replenishment, search and rescue, and communications relay.

“This proposed sale will support the foreign policy and national security of the United States by helping to strengthen the US-Indian strategic relationship and to improve the security of a major defensive partner which continues to be an important force for political stability, peace, and economic progress in the Indo-Pacific and South Asia region,” the US Defense Security Cooperation Agency said in its release on April 2.

Photo: Illustration: A US Navy MH-60R Sea Hawk helicopter launches from the flight deck of the guided-missile destroyer USS Forrest Sherman (DDG 98). Photo: US Navy