15 May 2020 00:00 GMT+0
The US Navy (USN) has awarded a USD904.8 million contract to Lockheed Martin to build 24 MH-60R multirole naval helicopters for delivery to the Indian Navy (IN) under the US Foreign Military Sales (FMS) programme.
In a 14 May announcement the US Department of Defense (DoD) said that three of these anti-surface warfare (ASuW)-, and anti-submarine-warfare (ASW)-capable rotorcraft, would be delivered to the USN, while 21 platforms, costing USD791.7 million, would be handed over to the Indian government.
The Pentagon announced on 14 May that Lockheed Martin has been awarded a USD904.8 million contract to build 24 MH-60R helicopters (similar to this one in Australian service) for delivery to the Indian Navy.
“The work is expected to be completed by September 2024,” said the Pentagon, adding that the bulk of the helicopter manufacturing would be undertaken at Lockheed Martin/Sikorsky’s facilities in Owego, New York, and in Stratford, Connecticut.
Official and industry sources in New Delhi cleared up the apparent confusion in the deliveries by explaining that the IN’s first three MH-60Rs will first be handed over to the USN’s Naval Air Systems Command (NAVAIR), which will then transfer them to India.
The IN will begin training on these first platforms in the United States on an “accelerated basis”, before delivery of the remaining 21 rotorcraft gets under way, they told Janes .
Senior naval officers said NAVAIR had originally intended to hand over the three MH-60Rs during the 22nd round of ‘Malabar’ exercises between the IN and USN – which were scheduled for later this year – but the manoeuvres have been deferred because of the ongoing Covid-19 coronavirus pandemic.
The US Navy (USN) has awarded a USD904.8 million contract to Lockheed Martin to build 24 MH-60R mult...