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Indian Navy to inaugurate 1st MH-60R Seahawk squadron in Kochi.

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The Indian Navy is poised to inaugurate its maiden squadron of MH-60R Seahawk helicopters at INS Garuda in Kochi, Kerala, marking a significant milestone in India's defense capabilities. The commissioning ceremony, scheduled for Wednesday at 4:30 pm, represents a pivotal moment in the nation's ongoing efforts to modernize its defense infrastructure. The MH-60R Seahawk, a maritime variant of the Black Hawk helicopter, forms part of a larger foreign military sales contract involving 24 aircraft signed with the US government in February 2020. Today's launch will herald the formation of the inaugural Seahawk squadron, comprising the six helicopters already delivered to the Indian Navy.

Renowned for its versatility, the MH-60R Seahawk is designed to undertake a range of missions, including anti-submarine warfare, anti-surface warfare, search and rescue operations, and medical evacuation. Equipped with advanced weapons systems, sensors, and avionics, these helicopters are ideally suited to address India's maritime security imperatives, offering enhanced capabilities to counter both conventional and asymmetric threats. Since their arrival at Kochi two years ago, the MH-60R choppers have been integrated into the naval fleet and subjected to rigorous testing in Indian conditions.

Armed with AGM-114 Hellfire missiles, MK 54 torpedoes, and advanced precision weapons, the MH-60R Seahawk helicopters bolster India's blue-water capabilities, extending the operational reach of the Navy across vast maritime domains. The commissioning of these aircraft underscores the Indian Navy's unwavering commitment to strengthening maritime security, in line with the Government of India's strategic vision of fostering security and prosperity in the region. By enhancing the Navy's operational capability in the Indian Ocean region, the commissioning of the MH-60R Seahawk squadron is poised to effectively deter and counter increasing Chinese military activities in the area.

March 6, 2024 3:06 p.m. 11782

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