Two MH-60R Seahawks fly over the induction ceremony for the Indian Navy’s first two MH-60Rs, in San Diego, July 16, 2021.
US Navy/MCS2 Sara Eshleman
The US delivered two helicopters and a new maritime patrol plane to India earlier this month.
The aircraft are some of the best sub-hunters available and will boost the Indian navy’s capabilities.
The deliveries come amid heightened tensions with China in the Indian Ocean region.
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India received US-made helicopters and a patrol plane this month, boosting that country’s navy and advancing US-India ties as both seek to counter China’s growing influence in the Asia-Pacific region.
On July 13, Boeing announced the delivery of another P-8I Poseidon maritime patrol aircraft to India, the 10th since India became the first non-US buyer more than a decade ago.
On July 16, India’s navy inducted the first two of 24 MH-60R Seahawk helicopters in a ceremony with US Navy officials in San Diego on July 16.
India’s ambassador to the US called the induction an “important milestone” in US-India defense ties.
John Kirby, the Pentagon’s chief spokesman, congratulated India on both deliveries this week, saying the aircraft “will substantially enhance maritime security and strengthen cooperation and interoperability between our two navies.”
India received its 10th P-8I long-range maritime aircraft from Boeing on July 13, 2021.
The MH-60R and P-8 both have anti-submarine warfare as a primary mission – Lockheed Martin says the MH-60R is the world’s “most capable and mature” helicopter for ASW, and Boeing calls the P-8’s ASW capabilities “unmatched” – and their delivery reflects India’s concern about Chinese naval activity, particularly submarine activity, in the Indian Ocean.
That Chinese presence, coupled with the increasing age of the Indian navy’s own rotary aircraft, “has been a cause of growing concern” for Indian navy leaders, who have urged expedited procurement of new aircraft, said Abhijit Singh, a former Indian naval officer and head the Maritime Policy Initiative at the Observer Research Foundation, a think tank.
“The delivery is a definite boost for the Indian navy. The multi-role helicopter deal is one the most eagerly awaited naval procurement programs in recent years,” Singh told Insider.
India’s navy believes the MH-60Rs will augment its “crucial” search-and-rescue, anti-submarine warfare, and anti-surface warfare capabilities, Singh added.
Indian navy destroyer INS Ranvir fires a rocket during an exercise in the Bay of Bengal, April 18, 2017.
ARUN SANKAR/AFP via Getty Images
Rotary and fixed-wing aircraft are only two new platforms India’s navy is seeking to bolster its fleet amid heightened tensions with Beijing, which has the world’s largest navy.
India expects to add a second aircraft carrier within the next few years and is pursuing other new surface ships as well as new ballistic-missile and attack submarines. India this week issued a nearly $7 billion tender for its advanced Project 75I subs, though they will still take years to build.
India has also developed or is working on an array of ship- …read more
Source:: Business Insider