India and the US have signed defence deals worth $3 billion (which included MH-60 Romeo, Apache Helicopters), US President Donald Trump announced as Indian PM Narendra Modi said the two countries have decided to take the ties to comprehensive global partnership level.
On Day 2 of his visit to India, US President Donald Trump, in a joint statement with PM Narendra Modi, said the two countries have finalized defence deals worth USD 3 billion.
US President: Earlier today we expanded our defence cooperation with agreements for India to purchase more than US$ 3 Bn of advanced American military equipment, including Apache & MH-60 Romeo Helicopters – finest in the world. These will enhance our joint defence capabilities. pic.twitter.com/TD6xMTx20q
— ANI (@ANI) February 25, 2020
The deals include the acquisition of 24 MH-60 Romeo helicopters at a cost of $2.6 billion. Another contract to procure six AH-64E Apache helicopters for $800 million from the US was also sealed on Tuesday.
Earlier, Donald Trump stated that the US is looking forward to providing India with some of the best and most feared military equipment on the planet. “We make the greatest weapons ever made: planes, missiles, rockets, ships. We make the best. And we’re dealing now with India. But this includes advanced air defence systems and armed and unarmed aerial vehicles,” Trump had said.
The Apache helicopters will have two key roles – to provide direct and accurate close air support for ground troops, and second, the anti-tank role to destroy enemy armour companies. The induction of the Apache fleet came over six months after India carried out an airstrike in Balakot, Pakistan. The IAF demanded to further bolster its combat capabilities to deal effectively deal with any security threat along both India-Pakistan and India-China border.
The MH-60 multi-role Romeo Sikorsky helicopters are expected to give an immense boost to the Indian Navy in expanding its role in the Indian Ocean Region (IOR). This was a long-pending demand of the Indian Navy, which was approved by the Cabinet Committee on Security (CCS) a week ahead of US President Donald Trump’s visit to India.
The government-to-government deal, which was cleared on February 19, involves the acquisition of 24 MH-60R 24 MH-60R Seahawk maritime helicopters from the US-based Lockheed Martin. The deal to acquire these choppers comes at a cost of $2.6 billion.
The MH-60 is designed to hunt down submarines and will add to the strategic depth and combat capability of the Indian Navy. The fleet will boost the Indian Navy’s anti-surface and anti-submarine warfare operations. It is capable of conducting highly efficient reconnaissance missions.
The MH 60 multi-role Romeo Sikorsky helicopters will replace ageing British-made Sea King helicopters. The multi-role helicopters will be deployed on warships and will be very effective in keeping the submarine threat posed by the extra-regional Navies, including China and Pakistan, in the Indian Ocean Region.
The MH Romeo Seahawk helicopter is an advanced helicopter and a very potent Air ASW (AASW) platform. These helicopters will be used in Anti Submarine Warfare (ASW), Anti Surface Warfare (ASuW), Command and Control, ESM roles besides Search and Rescue (SAR), Vertical Replenishment (VERTREP) roles, etc.