Bengaluru: India sent a group of Indian Navy personnel to the United States last weekend to undergo training on MH-60 Romeo helicopters. 

The first three helicopters will be handed over to India in the United States at the end of June for training purpose. 

However, the three helicopters will arrive in India only in June or July next year, a source in the Indian Navy said, adding that a total of 24 choppers would arrive by 2023. 


The second batch of three more choppers would be delivered by the end of the next year.

In February last year, India and the United States inked a deal worth $2.6 billion for the procurement of 24 MH-60 Romeo Seahawk helicopters for the Indian Navy.

These choppers will replace the ageing Sea King helicopters. 

Built by Lockheed Martin, these helicopters are designed and developed to operate from frigates, destroyers, cruisers and aircraft carriers.
The MH-60R also has the capability for secondary missions such as search and rescue, vertical replenishment, naval surface fire support, logistics support, personnel transport, medical evacuation, and VHF/UHF/link communication relay.

The helicopters can be deployed for knocking out ships, hunting submarines and conducting search-and-rescue operations at sea.

The US Navy mainly operates the 'Romeo' maritime helicopter, with 289 units in its fleet. Besides India, countries like Saudi Arabia, Denmark, Australia, Greece and South Korea have also procured this helicopter for their navies.