INDIA. Mumbai: Indian Navy accepted the first two of its MH-60R Multi-Role Helicopters (MRH) from US Navy in a ceremony held at Naval Air Station North Island, San Diego on July 16, Friday.
The ceremony marked the formal transfer of these helicopters from the US Navy to the Indian Navy, which were accepted by the Indian Ambassador to USA Taranjit Singh Sandhu. The ceremony also witnessed the exchange of helicopter documents between Vice Admiral Kenneth Whitesell, Commander Naval Air Forces, US Navy and Vice Admiral Ravneet Singh, Deputy Chief of Naval Staff (DCNS), Indian Navy, an official statement said.
MH-60R helicopter manufactured by Lockheed Martin Corporation, USA is an all-weather helicopter designed to support multiple missions with state-of-the-art avionics/ sensors. 24 of these helicopters are being procured under Foreign Military Sales from the US Government, for around $1.8 billion. The cost of the weapons and other systems will be additional. The helicopters would be modified with Indian unique equipments and weapons.
The induction of these MRH would further enhance the Indian Navy’s three-dimensional capabilities. To exploit these potent helicopters, the first batch of Indian crew is presently undergoing training in the USA. The existing Indian Navy’s fleet includes Sea-to air combat, surface attack, anti-submarine warfare, and material transportation aircrafts.
INS Tabar in France
In another development, as part of the ongoing overseas deployment, INS Tabar entered the Port of Brest, France on Monday. The ship was accorded a Ceremonial Guard by the French Navy on arrival in Port.
Ambassador of India to France and Monaco Jawed Ashraf visited the ship and appreciated the ship’s crew for their contribution to India’s maritime security and in furthering defence cooperation with friendly foreign countries.
The Commanding Officer accompanied by the Indian Defence Adviser also called on Vice Admiral Olivier Lebas, Commander of Atlantic Maritime Region (CECLANT) at his Headquarters in Prefecture Maritime Fort, Brest. The ship dressed overall on the occasion of the Bastille Day (national day of France), as per naval custom. On departure from Port, INS Tabar will participate in a Maritime Partnership Exercise with French Navy warship FNS Aquitaine.