Pentagon’s No.1 weapons supplier Lockheed Martin Corp. received a $904,8 contract modification from the U.S. Naval Air Systems Command for the production of and delivery of MH-60R Seahawk maritime helicopters.
The award, announced by the U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) on 14 May, covers the production and delivery of three MH-60R Seahawk maritime helicopters for the Navy and 21 MH-60Rs for the government of India.
Work is expected to be complete by September 2024.
The U.S. State Department approved a possible Foreign Military Sale (FMS) of MH-60R Sea Hawk multi-mission helicopters to India on April 2, 2019.
According to the Defense Security Cooperation Agency, 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.
It is worth noting that the delivery of new US-made helicopters is intended to replace the Indian 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.
The MH-60R is equipped with a highly sophisticated combat system designed to employ Hellfire air-to-surface missiles and the Mark 54 anti-submarine torpedo. The primary missions of the helicopter is anti-submarine warfare and anti-surface warfare. Secondary missions include search and rescue, logistics support, personnel transport and medical evacuation.