The U.S. State Department approved a possible Foreign Military Sale (FMS) of MH-60R Sea Hawk multi-mission helicopters, the U.S. Defense Security Cooperation Agency (DSCA) announced on 2 April.
It said the proposed sale was worth an estimated $2.6 billion and included 24 MH-60R Sea Hawk helicopters for the Indian Navy (IN).
As noted by the DSCA, in addition the potential sale would include 30 APS-153(V) Multi-Mode radars, 60 T700-GE-401C engines, 24 Airborne Low Frequency System (ALFS), 1000 AN/SSQ-36/53/62 sonobuoys; 10 AGM-114 Hellfire missiles; 38 Advanced Precision Kill Weapons System (APKWS) rockets; 70 AN/AVS-9 Night Vision Devices and an assortment of radars and other parts.
“This proposed sale will support the foreign policy and national security of the United States by helping to strengthen the U.S.-Indian strategic relationship and to improve the security of a major defensive partner which continues to be an important force for political stability, peace, and economic progress in the Indo-Pacific and South Asia region,” said in a statement.
The proposed sale will provide India the capability to perform anti-surface and anti-submarine warfare missions along with the ability to perform secondary missions including vertical replenishment, search and rescue, and communications relay.
It is worth noting that the delivery of new US-made helicopters, which are intended to replace the service’s fleet of Sea King Mk 42B/C and Ka-28 helicopters.
Russia, too, tried to offer its modernized Ka-27 and Ka-32 helicopters, but the Indian government chose MH-60R Sea Hawk.