American defence manufacturer Lockheed Martin on Friday shared the photo of MH-60 Romeo chopper in Indian colours. The chopper will be inducted in the Indian Navy.
“This #NavyDay, we are proud to share the first look of the #IndianNavy’s #MH60R in all its glory. #RomeoForIndia,” Lockheed Martin posted on Twitter.
India had signed $2.6 billion deal in 2019 to buy 24 MH-60 Romeo helicopters from Lockheed Martin.
Designed for hunting submarines as well as knocking out ships and conducting search-and-rescue operations at sea, the Lockheed Martin-built helicopters would replenish India’s aging fleet of British-made Sea King helicopters.
The multi-mission helicopters can detect, track and attack submarines and surface ships.
On Friday, the US also approved the sale of $90 million worth of military hardware and services to India in support of its fleet of C-130J Super Hercules military transport aircraft.
The Pentagon said that the proposed sale ensures the previously procured aircraft operates effectively to serve the needs of the Indian Air Force (IAF), the Army and the Navy transport requirements, local and international humanitarian assistance, and regional disaster relief.
This proposed sale will support the foreign policy and national security of the United States by helping to strengthen the US-Indian strategic relationship and improve the security of a “Major Defence Partner”, according to the the Defence Security Cooperation Agency (DSCA) of the Department of Defence.
The DSCA also said that India continues to be an important force for political stability, peace and economic progress in the Indo-Pacific and South Asia region.
India and the United States have been ramping up defence ties in recent years with joint military exercises, exchanges and exchanges. They held their first 2+2 ministerial in September 2018 – a simultaneous meeting for their defence and foreign ministers. They ended years of discussions and back-and-forth and signed two enabling agreement LEMOA (Logistics Exchange Memorandum of Agreement) and COMCASA (Communications Compatibility and Security Agreement) in recent years to improve interoperability between their militaries.
In 2016, the US had designated India as a “Major Defence Partner” intending to elevate defence trade and technology sharing to a level commensurate with that of its closest allies and partners.