The Indian Navy is swapping its aging UK-made helicopters for American ones in a $2.4 billion deal


  • The US State Department has approved the sale of 24 Romeo MH60 Seahawk helicopters to India in a deal worth $2.4 billion.
  • The deal has reportedly been in the works since November 2018, following a meeting between Prime Minister Narendra Modi and US Vice-President Mike Pence in Singapore.
  • As a result, the Indian Navy will be able to replace its aging fleet of UK-made Sea King helicopters, which have been reportedly been in need of replacement for a decade.
The US State Department has approved the sale of 24 Romeo MH60 Seahawk helicopters to India in a deal worth $2.4 billion, according to the Press Trust of India.

The deal has reportedly been in the works since November 2018, when India sent an urgent request to the US for the helicopters following a meeting between Prime Minister Narendra Modi and US Vice-President Mike Pence in Singapore.

The sea warfare helicopters, which have been manufactured by Lockheed Martin, are used to detect submarines, replenish naval vessels, conduct search operations at sea and fire at ships. They are considered the world’s most advanced naval helicopters.

As a result, the Indian Navy will be able to replace its aging fleet of UK-made Sea King helicopters, which have been reportedly been in need of replacement for a decade.

The State Department explained that the deal would boost US-India military ties. Interestingly, the deal comes at a time as India is beefing up its naval defense forces to counter China’s increasing incursions in the Indian Ocean.

However, the State Department maintained in its notification that the sale would not “alter the military balance” in the region.

In November 2018, India announced that INS Arihant, its first domestically-produced submarine, had completed its first deterrence testing phase. The successful trial gave India the added ability to fire nuclear weapons from the sea.


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