The Indian Navy's newly acquired Anti-submarine warfare (ASW) capable helicopter — MH-60R Romeo — has completed its maiden landing on India's first indigenously designed and manufactured aircraft carrier, INS Vikrant.
In 2020, the Indian Navy signed a $2.6 billion deal with the US government to acquire 24 MH-60R 'Romeo' helicopters. The helicopters are scheduled to delivered by 2025.
The helicopters are capable of hunting submarines using its advanced AN/AQS-22 Airborne Low Frequency dunking sonar.
The helicopter also comes equipped with MK-54 torpedoes, Hellfire missiles, and BAE Systems' Advanced Precision Kill Weapon System (APKWS) laser-guided rockets.
The MH-60R 'Romeo' landing on the INS Vikrant is a part of 'air certification' and 'flight integration' trials of the Vikrant.
Just a week ago (on 25 May), the Indian Navy's Mig-29K fighter also executed maiden landing on INS Vikrant. Prior to the landing of Mig-29Ks, Naval Tejas also took off (on February 6) from Vikrant's deck.
The indigenous aircraft carrier, INS Vikrant, is expected to become fully operational by the end of 2023.
INS Vikrant, measuring 262 metre in length and 62 metre in width, with a height of 59 metre, is equipped with over 2,300 compartments.
These compartments are designed to accommodate equipment and approximately 1,700 personnel, including dedicated cabins for women officers.
The carrier has a top speed of around 28 knots and a cruising speed of 18 knots, enabling it to cover a distance of about 7,500 nautical miles.
The construction of INS Vikrant began in 2009 by Mazagaon Shipyard Limited (MDL) and was commissioned into service by Prime Minister Narendra Modi in September last year.
Editorial Associate at Swarajya. Writes on Indian Military and Defence.
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