MH-60R helicopter conducts landing op on board INS Vikrant
The new helicopters are currently based at Naval Air Station INS Garuda in Kochi.
KOCHI: An advanced MH-60R helicopter, procured by Indian Navy from USA’s Lockheed Martin Corporation, undertook its maiden landing operation onboard INS Vikrant, India’s first indigenous aircraft carrier on Wednesday. The aircraft carrier, which was commissioned by Prime Minister Narendra Modi in September 2022 is currently undergoing flight integration trials off Kochi. Announcing the trials of MH-60R, the Navy said it is a major boost to the Indian Navy’s anti-submarine warfare and fleet support capability.
The defence ministry entered into a deal with Lockheed Martin Corporation in 2020 to purchase 24 MH-60R multi-role helicopters. Three helicopters were delivered in the US in 2021 and three pilots from the Navy who completed training in the US have returned to Kochi. The second batch is currently undergoing training in the US.
The Lockheed Martin Corporation delivered two MH-60R helicopters in Kochi in June 2022. As per the deal, the US will complete the delivery of 24 helicopters by 2025. The new helicopters are currently based at Naval Air Station INS Garuda in Kochi.
The MH-60R is one of the most advanced maritime helicopters in the world and is designed to operate from frigates, destroyers and aircraft carriers. It has advanced features for anti-submarine warfare and will replace the ageing fleet of British Westland Seaking anti-submarine helicopters used by the Navy for surveillance and search and rescue operations.