Navy makes formal request for multi-role U.S. copters

Navy makes formal request for multi-role U.S. copters


  1. India has made a formal request to the U.S. for the purchase of 24 MH-60R Multi-Role Helicopters (MRH) for the Navy in a deal estimated at $2bn.

Important Facts:

  1. This request is among a series of defence procurements and inductions from the U.S. and Russia in the last two months.
  2. The Government issued the Letter of Request (LoR) recently for procurement of 24 MRH from the U.S. government under the Foreign Military Sales (FMS) route.

  1. Background:
  • The Navy is presently facing a critical shortage of helicopters and several frontline warships are plying with empty helicopter decks.
  • These helicopters are being procured as replacement for 15 Sea King Anti-submarine warfare (ASW) helicopters de-inducted from service in 1991 and one Sea King 42B MRH lost in accident.
  • The current MRHs in service, Sea King 42Bs, were inducted in the 1980s.
  1. Given the urgency for helicopters, the U.S. is likely to take some MH-60R helicopters off the flight deck of their newest aircraft carrier USS Gerald Ford.
  2. All the helicopters would be delivered in a phased manner from 2020-24.
  3. About MH-60R: It is also referred to as ‘Romeo’.
  • The helicopter is equipped for a range of missions including anti-submarine warfare (ASW), anti-surface warfare (ASuW), search-and-rescue (SAR), naval gunfire support (NGFS), surveillance, communications relay, logistics support and personnel transfer and vertical replenishment (VERTREP).
About Foreign Military Sales (FMS) route:
Purpose: The Foreign Military Sales (FMS) program is a form of security assistance authorized by the Arms Export Control Act (AECA) and a fundamental tool of U.S. foreign policy.
Under Section 3, of the AECA, the U.S. may sell defense articles and services to foreign countries and international organizations when the President formally finds that to do so will strengthen the security of the U.S. and promote world peace.
Under FMS, the U.S. Government and a foreign government enter into a government-to-government agreement called a Letter of Offer and Acceptance (LOA).
Who:Secretary of State determines which countries will have programs. Secretary of Defense executes the program.
Funding: May be funded by country national funds or U.S. Government funds.



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