Lockheed Martin will deliver six MH-60R Multi-Role Helicopters (MRH) to the Indian Navy in 2021 and the order would be completed by 2025, Navy sources said on Thursday. The deal worth around $2.2 bn was signed early this week during the visit of U.S. President Donald Trump .
“We will get at least two helicopters within a year and a total of six helicopters in 2021,” a Navy source said. The entire order would be completed in five years, another source said.
The Navy said in a statement that as envisioned in the ‘Capability Based Perspective Plan,’ the helicopters are being procured under the ‘Buy (Global)’ Category through Foreign Military Sales route of the U.S. “The delivery of the helicopters is planned commencing early 2021 and comes at a time when the Indian Ocean Region is witnessing increasing security threat due to proliferation of submarines,” it stated.
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The helicopters can be effectively employed for offensive and defensive roles including Anti-Submarine Warfare, anti-ship strike, low intensity maritime operations, search and rescue, over the horizon network centric operations and electronic warfare.
These helicopters are a replacement for the Sea King 42/42A helicopters already decommissioned in the 1990s and are envisaged to operate from frontline ships and aircraft carriers providing them the critical attributes of flexibility of operation, enhanced surveillance and attacking capability.
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On the capabilities the helicopter brings in, the Navy stated, “The helicopter’s capability of prolonged maritime operations and seamless integration with the P8i and ships at sea makes it a ‘Force Multiplier’.” The contract also has an offset clause as per the procurement procedure to be discharged by Lockheed Martin.