India's Cabinet Committee on Security (CCS) cleared a $2.4 billion (INR 17,177 crore) deal to purchase 24 multi-role Sikorsky MH-60 'Romeo’ anti-submarine helicopters for the Indian Navy.
Donald Trump, President of the United States is set to visit India on February 24-25. It is not known when a formal announcement will be made and when an actual deal will be signed, the Indian media reported Wednesday.
In August 2018, then Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman had approved the contract for the choppers. The deal is being done under the Foreign Military Sales (FMS) route. A year later, the US Defence Security Cooperation Agency (DSCA), which administers the FMS program, announced that the State Department made a determination approving a possible FMS to India of 24 MH-60R Multi-Mission helicopters for an estimated cost of $2.6 billion (INR 18,608 crore).
Each helicopter will cost about $100-109 million (around INR 760 crore) which includes accessories, spare parts, tech support and the cost of establishing maintenance facilities for the new type of helicopter.
Built by Lockheed Martin, this helicopter is a naval version of Sikorsky UH-60 Black Hawk and a member of the Sikorsky S-70 family. The most significant modifications are the folding main rotor and a hinged tail to reduce its footprint aboard ships.
Able to deploy aboard any air-capable frigate, destroyer, cruiser, fast combat support ship, amphibious assault ship, or aircraft carrier, the Seahawk can handle anti-submarine warfare (ASW), anti-surface warfare (ASUW), naval special warfare (NSW) insertion, search and rescue (SAR), combat search and rescue (CSAR), vertical replenishment (VERTREP), and medical evacuation (MEDEVAC).