The Hindu Business Line
US clears sale of 24 Seahawk choppers to India for $2.6 billion
The US has approved the sale of 24 multi-role MH-60 ‘Romeo’ Seahawk helicopters to India at an estimated cost of $2.6 billion, the State Department has said.
India has been in need of these formidable anti-submarine hunter helicopters for more than a decade now.
Designed for hunting submarines as well as knocking out ships and conducting search-and-rescue operations at sea, the Lockheed Martinbuilt helicopters, will replenish India’s aging fleet of British-made Sea King helicopters. The Trump administration on Tuesday notified the Congress that it has approved the sale of 24 MH-60R multi-mission helicopters, which will provide the Indian defence forces the capability to perform antisurface and anti-submarine warfare missions.
In its notification, the State Department told the Congress that this proposed sale will support the foreign policy and national security of the US by helping to strengthen the US-Indian strategic relationship.
The sale will improve the security of a major defence partner which continues to be an important force for political stability, peace, and economic progress in the Indo-Pacific and South Asia region, it said.
“The proposed sale will provide India the capability to perform anti-surface and antisubmarine warfare missions along with the ability to perform secondary missions including vertical replenishment, search and rescue, and communications relay,” said the Congressional notification. India will use the enhanced capability as a deterrent to regional threats and to strengthen its homeland defense, the notification said, adding that India will have no difficulty absorbing these helicopters into its armed forces. The proposed sale of this equipment and support will not alter the basic military balance in the region, it said.