Indian Navy selects Sikorsky’s S-70B Seahawk
India’s Navy has selected Sikorsky Aircraft Corp., a subsidiary of United Technologies Corp. to fulfill the service’s multi-role helicopter requirement for anti-submarine and anti-surface warfare (ASW/ASuW), among other maritime roles. Negotiations will now begin to procure 16 S-70B Seahawk helicopters, with an option for eight additional aircraft, along with a complete logistics support and training programme.
“India’s selection of the S-70B helicopter represents a major strategic win for Sikorsky in an important growth market, and positions us well for future opportunities,” said Mick Maurer, President of Sikorsky Aircraft. “We look forward to a long-term collaboration with the Indian Government and local industry as we work to bring the Indian Navy the highly advanced multi-role S-70B aircraft.”
The proposed Indian Navy S-70B variant will include avionics and flexible open architecture Weapons Management Systems that integrate advanced sonar, 360 degree search radar, modern air-to-surface missiles, and torpedoes for the ASW role. A blade and tail fold capability will facilitate shipboard storage.
The S-70B aircraft will also enhance the Indian Navy’s capabilities to perform non-combat maritime roles, including search and rescue, utility and external cargo lift, surveillance and casualty evacuation.
Sikorsky has fielded increasingly more capable variants of the S-70B helicopter since 1984 for navies that prefer to acquire a modern, fully integrated ASW/ASuW platform direct from the manufac- turer. Now operational in six countries (in Europe, Middle East, Asia and Latin America), the S-70B platform has a solid reputation for highly reliable shipboard operations and maintenance while operating aboard frigates and larger naval vessels.
The S-70B aircraft is part of Sikorsky’s Seahawk helicopter family (including the SH-60 and MH-60 models) that has accumulated almost four million flight hours from more than 800 operational aircraft, and is considered one of the safest platforms available.