India moves closer towards USD 300 million weapons deal with US for its Navy
3 April, 2023 | Pragati Singh
The Hellfire missile is a precision-guided missile that has been employed by American forces against high-value targets such as Al Jawahiri.
India is edging closer to finalising a deal to purchase American armaments such as Hellfire missiles and Mark 54 anti-submarine torpedoes for its MH-60 Romeo multirole helicopters. The Indian Navy has contracted for 24 of these choppers in a fast-track agreement worth more than USD 2 billion in 2020, and they must be equipped with weapons for missions.
The proposal for purchasing the weapons package for the MH-60 Romeo helicopters is nearing completion in the Defence Ministry, and negotiations with the American administration for the USD 300 million deal to be concluded through the Foreign Military Sales route are also underway, defence officials told ANI here.
The Hellfire missile is a precision-guided missile that has been employed by American forces against high-value targets such as Al Jawahiri. The MK 54 lightweight torpedoes are the principal anti-submarine warfare weapon utilised by US surface ships, fixed-wing aircraft, and helicopters.
It has already been integrated into the Indian Navy’s P-8I anti-submarine warfare and observation aircraft. Using fast-track protocols on a government-to-government deal, India and the United States agreed to buy 24 MH-60 Romeo helicopters from Lockheed Martin in 2020. The 24 MH-60 Romeos would be outfitted with multi-mode radars and night-vision equipment, as well as missiles, torpedoes, and other precision-guided weapons.
The MH-60s will replace the Sea King helicopters, which will be phased out of service very soon. The MH-69 helicopters are capable of operating from frigates, destroyers, cruisers, and aircraft carriers. The choppers are intended for anti-submarine operations as well as anti-ship missions and sea-search-and-rescue operations.