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Indian MH-60R helos to be Saudi-standard, plus national mods

25 March 2020
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The MH-60R helicopters to be delivered to the Indian Navy will be of the same configuration as those received by the Royal Saudi Naval Forces, plus some ‘unique’ modifications. Source: US Navy

The Sikorsky MH-60R Seahawk maritime helicopters ordered by India will be built to the latest Saudi Arabian configuration, with some additional national-specific modifications.

The new initial Indian baseline standard was disclosed on the US government's beta.sam.gov website on 24 March, in which it was noted that the 24 helicopters recently ordered by the Indian government will be built to the same configuration as the 10 helicopters received by the Royal Saudi Naval Forces (RSNF), with some "unique modifications" also included.

The RSNF MH-60Rs that were delivered from September 2018 are of a similar anti-surface vessel warfare (ASuW) and anti-submarine warfare (ASW) standard to the latest helicopters flying with the US Navy (USN), including AN/AAS-44C(V) multi-spectral targeting systems, AN/AVS-9 night-vision goggles, AN/SSQ-36/53/62 sonobuoys, Raytheon MK 54 torpedoes, and crew-served weapons.

The RNSF standard that will form the baseline configuration for the Indian Navy (IN) adds the Lockheed Martin AGM-114R Hellfire II air-to-surface missile and BAE Systems Advanced Precision Kill Weapon System (APKWS) which, while integrated by the USN, are not typically carried.

While the sole-source contract notification did not provide details of the Indian national-specific modifications, Jane's previously reported that the IN is to fit its MH-60R helicopters with the Kongsberg Naval Strike Missile (becoming the first country to fit any helicopter with the anti-ship missile). Other national modifications will likely comprise communications and other such equipment.

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