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US approves MH-60R sale to India

02 April 2019
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Seen here in Australian service, the MH-60R is being requested by India to replace its ageing Sea King and Ka-28 maritime helicopters. Source: Commonwealth of Australia

The US government has approved the sale of the Lockheed Martin MH-60R Seahawk maritime multimission helicopter to India, it was announced on 2 April.

The US State Department has cleared India to procure 24 MH-60R helicopters, as well one MH-60B/R Excess Defense Article (EDA) helicopter from the US Navy that will likely be used for training.

In addition to the helicopters, the proposed package includes related anti-submarine warfare equipment and weapons, anti-surface warfare weapons, and air-to-ground weapons, as well as spares, training, and support.

Specific weapons included in the notification include Raytheon MK 54 torpedoes, Lockheed Martin AGM-114 Hellfire missiles, and BAE Systems Advanced Precision Kill Weapons System laser-guided rockets, as well as M-240D and GAU-21 crew-served machine guns. Kongsberg Naval Strike Missile emulators and captive inert training missiles are also included, although not the missiles themselves.

According to the Defense Security Cooperation Agency, the estimated value of the deal is USD2.6 billion.

US government approval for the deal comes five months after the Indian Ministry of Defence issued its letter of request for the MH-60R to equip the Indian Navy (IN). The new helicopters will replace the ageing Westland Sea King Mk 42B/C and Kamov Ka-28 helicopters from about 2020.

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