STRATFORD, Conn. --- India's Navy has selected Sikorsky Aircraft Corp., a subsidiary of United Technologies Corp. (UTX), to fulfill the service's Multi-Role Helicopter requirement for anti-submarine and anti-surface warfare (ASW/ASuW), among other maritime roles.
Negotiations will now begin to procure 16 S-70B Seahawk helicopters, with an option for eight additional aircraft, along with a complete logistics support and training program.
The Indian Navy has selected Sikorsky's S-70B Seahawk helicopter to fulfill the service's Multi-Role Helicopter requirement for anti-submarine and anti-surface warfare.
"India's selection of the S-70B helicopter represents a major strategic win for Sikorsky in an important growth market, and positions us well for future opportunities," said Mick Maurer, President of Sikorsky Aircraft. "We look forward to a long-term collaboration with the Indian Government and local industry as we work to bring the Indian Navy the highly advanced multi-role S-70B aircraft."
The proposed Indian Navy S-70B variant will include avionics and flexible open architecture Weapons Management Systems that integrate an advanced sonar, 360-degree search radar, modern air-to-surface missiles, and torpedoes for the ASW role. A blade and tail fold capability will facilitate shipboard storage.
The S-70B aircraft will also enhance the Indian Navy's capabilities to perform non-combat maritime roles, including search and rescue, utility and external cargo lift, surveillance and casualty evacuation.
Sikorsky has fielded increasingly more capable variants of the S-70B helicopter since 1984 for navies that prefer to acquire a modern, fully integrated ASW/ASuW platform direct from the manufacturer. Now operational in six countries (in Europe, Middle East, Asia and Latin America), the S-70B platform has a solid reputation for highly reliable shipboard operations and maintenance while operating aboard frigates and larger naval vessels.
The S-70B aircraft is part of Sikorsky's Seahawk helicopter family (including the SH-60 and MH-60 models) that has accumulated almost four million flight hours from more than 800 operational aircraft, and is considered one of the safest platforms available.
Sikorsky Aircraft Corp., based in Stratford, Connecticut, is a world leader in aircraft design, manufacture and service. United Technologies Corp., based in Hartford, Connecticut, provides high-technology products and support services to the aerospace and building systems industries.
(EDITOR’S NOTE: It is strange that India has elected to go for a direct commercial purchase of these helicopters rather than procure the latest MH-60R production standard like other navies, thus benefiting from a standard configuration, a larger component and spares pool, and the financial and sustainment advantages of the Foreign Military Sales channel, which has been used for India’s other recent large arms purchases from the US.