The Indian navy’s first Sikorsky MH-60R anti-submarine warfare (ASW) helicopter has conducted its maiden flight from Lockheed Martin’s Owego site in New York.
The flight was announced in a brief tweet by the US Naval Air Systems Command.
In May 2020, Lockheed unit Sikorsky signed a $905 million agreement with the US Navy to create 24 MH-60Rs.
21 of the rotorcraft were reserved for the Indian navy under the auspices of the Foreign Military Sales process, and three for the US Navy (USN). At that point, Sikorsky said the first Indian conveyance was expected in the spring of 2021. The three USN helicopters were to help sped up preparing for Indian personnel.
Overall, New Delhi will acquire a sum of 24 MH-60Rs. The country’s Cabinet Committee on Security signed off on the arrangement in February 2020.
India’s quest to obtain a cutting edge ASW helicopter started in 2005, with the Sikorsky S-70B Seahawk arising as the winner in 2014 preceding negotiations wallowed over cost.
Also being pursued are two other naval helicopter requirements: the 111-unit Naval Utility Helicopter program and 123-airplane Naval Multi Role Helicopter effort.
The maiden flight of India’s first MH-60R follows news in December 2020 that the sort had arisen victorious in a South Korean competition for 12 new ASW helicopters. On 13 April, Lockheed signed a creation contract for these rotorcraft.
Cirium fleets information shows that four militaries work a sum of 305 MH-60Rs. The USN is the largest administrator, with 263 examples, trailed by the Royal Australian Navy with 23, the Royal Saudi Navy with 10, and the Royal Danish Air Force with nine.
In Addition, Indian and South Korean orders, which total 36 examples, Greece’s navy has four MH-60Rs on hand.
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