The United States had cleared away the deal of 2 dozen multi-role MH-60R Seahawk maritime jets to India for a projected value of approx. $2.6 billion, State Department of the United States publicized on Wednesday, in augmentation to the Indian Navy’s anti-submarine abilities in contrast to an imperialist China.

The authorization for the same comes a week after India had inducted 1st four of 15 Boeing Co.-that made Chinook heavy-lift jets ordered previous year. Also, India had ordered around 22 Apache attack jets from the United States previous year.

The Lockheed Martin Corp manufactures Seahawk jets. That will arm with weapons like torpedoes, Hellfire missiles as well as rockets. The projected deal also consists of one MH-60B/R Excess Defense Article (EDA) jet from the Navy of the United States.

India is the 2nd-biggest importer of arms across the world, just after Saudi Arabia, as per the report of Stockholm International Peace Research Institute’s 2018. Top arms sellers to India also includes Israel, Russia, and the US.

As soon as initiated, the Seahawk jet will probably replace India’s old Sea King fleet that was made by British. And has been in service since 1971, as per the website of the Indian Navy. India has projected a need for more than 123 multi-role helicopters for its Navy.

COMCASA

India made its appeal for the 24 Seahawk jets to the United States. It is in the month of November in a G2G deal under the Foreign Military Sales path. The appeal was prepared weeks after the 2 nations signed the Compatibility, Communications, Security Agreement (COMCASA). It is a “foundational agreement’’ which permits the US to lawfully share top-end encoded communication. As well as satellite data with a friendly partner country.

The Seahawks designated as a multi-role maritime jet by Lockheed Martin are predictable of adding to India’s defensive competences. “These are multi-role helicopters—that is they can perform a variety of functions, including surveillance, replenishment and search and rescue. Principally, however, these helicopters design for an anti-submarine warfare role. The Indian Navy suffers a shortfall in numbers of ASW helos. The new acquisition is a replacement for the Sea King Mk-42s whose numbers are fast depleting,” states Abhijit Singh. An expert at Observer Research Foundation thinks tank based at New Delhi.

“They are to be employed mainly to sanitize littoral spaces. Where the Indian Navy’s warships are likely to be deployed,” voiced Abhijit Singh.

Such jet along with anti-submarine ability are significant assets for any navy, he says further. Adding that a number of India’s frontline warships have been operational without integral jets.

US-India strategic relationship

“This proposed sale will support the foreign policy and national security of the US by helping to strengthen the US-India strategic relationship and to improve the security of a major defensive partner which continues to be an important force for political stability, peace and economic progress in the Indo-Pacific and South Asia region,” the US State Department held in a proclamation.

“India will use the enhanced capability as a deterrent to regional threats and strengthen its homeland defense”. The State Department said in its notification to the US Congress, adding India will have no difficulty absorbing these helicopters into its armed forces. “The proposed sale of this equipment and support will not alter the basic military balance in the region,” he further added.