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Navy to commission MH 60R Seahawk helicopters on March 6; deployment on INS Vikramaditya (WATCH)

The Indian Navy is set to commission the MH 60R Seahawk, a multirole helicopter, on March 6 at INS Garuda in Kochi, Kerala, as part of its modernization efforts. The MH-60R will bolster the Navy's capabilities in anti-submarine warfare, anti-surface warfare, search and rescue, medical evacuation, and vertical replenishment

As part of its modernisation drive, the Indian Navy will be commissioning the multirole helicopter MH 60R Seahawk on March 6 at INS Garuda in Kerala’s Kochi. The maritime variant of the Blackhawk helicopter, India has procured six MH-60R choppers from the US-based defence giant Lockheed Martin. The MH60R choppers will be deployed on board the aircraft carrier INS Vikramaditya. In 2020, India placed an order worth $2.6 billion to procure 24 multi-mission Romeo helicopters with India-specific modifications, including Hellfire air-to-surface missiles and Mark 54 anti-submarine torpedoes.

Indian Navy PRO Commander Vivek Madhwal said that the Seahawks squadron will be commissioned in the Indian Navy as INAS 334. He also said that the force is set to witness a significant surge in its maritime prowess with its induction.

The MH-60R Multirole Helicopter

The helicopter is designed for anti-submarine warfare (ASW), anti-surface warfare (ASuW), search and rescue (SAR), medical evacuation (MEDEVAC) and vertical replenishment (VERTREP). The helicopter has been rigorously tested in Indian Reference Atmosphere (IRA) conditions and is fully integrated into the Fleet. The advanced weapons, sensors and avionics suite make the Seahawks ideal for the Indian Navy’s maritime security needs, offering enhanced capabilities for both conventional as well as asymmetric threats.

The MH 60R helicopter would enhance India’s blue-water capabilities, extending the operational reach of the Navy and supporting sustained naval operations across spectrums and over vast maritime domains. The Seahawk’s deployment in the IOR would strengthen the Indian Navy’s maritime presence, dissuading potential threats and ensuring a secure and safe environment in this strategically crucial region.

The commissioning of the Seahawks underscores the Indian Navy’s steadfast dedication to fortifying maritime security, aligning seamlessly with the Government of India’s visionary goal of ensuring Security And Growth for All in the Region.