India will start receiving the delivery of 24 American MH-60 Romeo helicopters from early 2021, the Indian Navy informed within days after the deal was signed between India and US during President Trump's recent visit. The Navy said MH-60 advanced helicopters will play an important role in maritime security in the Indian Ocean region.
The deal for procuring 24 MH-60 Romeo helicopters was signed during President Donald Trump's first official visit to India on Feb 24, 25. Apart from 24 Romeo helicopters, US will also deliver 6 Apache choppers to India. A total of worth $3 billion defence deals were signed between India and US during Trump's visit.
The helicopters will be manufactured by US company Lockheed Martin.
The Indian Navy said, "These helicopters are a replacement for the Sea King 42/42A helicopters already decommissioned in the 1990s and envisaged to operate from front-line ships and aircraft carriers providing them the critical attributes of the flexibility of operation, enhanced surveillance and attacking capability."
Push for 'Make in India'
As part of 'Make in India' initiative, Lockheed Martin will look for transfer of technology to Indian offset partners for the manufacture of products and services.
"This would enable absorption of niche technology, skill development and manufacture of eligible products/services leading to generation of employment, skilling of MSMEs and indigenous production of products for buy-back by the OEM," Navy said.