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Indian Navy to commission newly-inducted MH 60R Seahawk helicopter on Wednesday


MH 60R Seahawk multi-role helicopters, a maritime variant of the Blackhawk helicopter, ahead of their commissioning into the Indian Navy. Navy on Sunday announced that it will raise the first squadron of MH-60R Seahawk helicopters, imported from the US, at INS Garuda in Kochi on March 6. Photo: PTI.

NEW DELHI (PTI): The Indian Navy will commission on Wednesday in Kochi its newly-inducted MH 60R Seahawk multi-role choppers that it said would mark a "pivotal moment" in India's defence modernisation journey.

The commissioning of the helicopters in the INAS 334 squadron is expected to significantly enhance the Navy's operational capability in the Indian Ocean region which has been witnessing increasing Chinese military forays.

The US-manufactured MH 60R Seahawk is a maritime variant of the Blackhawk helicopter.

The helicopter is designed for anti-submarine warfare, anti-surface warfare, search and rescue and medical evacuation among other operations.

"The advanced weapons, sensors and avionics suite make the Seahawks ideal for the Indian Navy's maritime security needs, offering enhanced capabilities for both conventional as well as asymmetric threats," the Navy said on Sunday.

The Seahawks squadron will be commissioned in the Indian Navy as INAS 334.

India signed an agreement with the US for procurement of 24-MH 60Rs in February 2020 under the framework of foreign military sales.

"The Seahawk's deployment in the Indian Ocean Region would strengthen the Indian Navy's maritime presence, dissuading potential threats and ensuring a secure and safe environment in this strategically crucial region," the Navy said.

"The commissioning of the Seahawks underscores the Indian Navy's steadfast dedication to fortifying maritime security, aligning seamlessly with the Government of India's visionary goal of ensuring security and growth for all in the region," it said.

The Navy said induction of the choppers is set to witness a significant surge in its maritime prowess.

"The helicopter has been rigorously tested in Indian Reference Atmosphere (IRA) conditions and is fully integrated into the fleet," it said in a statement.

"The MH 60R helicopter would enhance India's blue-water capabilities, extending the operational reach of the Navy and supporting sustained naval operations across spectrums and over vast maritime domains," it said.

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