Indian Navy and ground staff will soon depart to the US to be trained on the new Sikorsky MH-60R Seahawk.
As reported by us on 6 December 2020, the Indian Navy will receive 24 Seahawks, of which three were reported to be diverted from the US Navy production line. However, at that time this was not yet confirmed.
The first three are now reported to be handed over to the Indian Embassy in the US between June and September 2021. These three will most probably stay in the US for training future aircrew. The timeline for the delivery of the other Seahawks has not yet been revealed.
Training of the Indian Navy staff in the US might be done at Mayport (FL), where Maritime Strike Squadron (HSM) 40 has facilitated training for foreign aircrew and maintainers before. But we have not seen confirmation of this yet.
The Seahawks would replenish India’s ageing fleet of British-made Sea King helicopters operating since the 1980s. The Sea King Mk42Bs are flying with INAS 330 Harpoons at Mumbai (INS Shikra) and INAS 336 Flaming Arrows at Cochin (INS Garuda). Next to that the Indian Navy is also using the Sea King Mk42C in the assault role with the Marine Commando Flight at INS Shikra and in the utility role at Vishakhapatnam (UH-3H).