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The Indian Navy is set to enhance its operational capabilities with the induction of six SeaHawk helicopters on March 6, 2024. The acquisition of these multirole helicopters marks a significant milestone in the Indian Navy’s efforts to bolster its presence and dominance in the Indian Ocean region, a strategically vital area of operation.

The squadron of MH-60R SeaHawk helicopters will be commissioned as Indian Naval Air Squadron (INAS) 334 and will be based at INS Garuda, the naval air station located in Kochi, Kerala. This new addition to the Indian Navy’s fleet represents a substantial upgrade in maritime reconnaissance, anti-submarine warfare, and search and rescue capabilities.

The MH-60R SeaHawk helicopters are renowned for their versatility and advanced capabilities, making them well-suited for a wide range of naval operations. Equipped with state-of-the-art sensors, avionics, and weapons systems, these helicopters enable the Indian Navy to conduct effective anti-surface and anti-submarine warfare missions, enhancing maritime security and surveillance capabilities in the region.

The induction of the SeaHawk helicopters comes at a crucial juncture, as the Indian Navy continues to prioritize the modernization of its fleet to meet evolving security challenges in the maritime domain. With the Indian Ocean region witnessing increased geopolitical competition and maritime activity, the presence of these advanced helicopters will bolster the Indian Navy’s ability to safeguard national interests and maintain maritime superiority.

INS Garuda, as the home base for the new MH-60R squadron, will serve as a hub for training, maintenance, and operational deployment of these helicopters. The station’s strategic location on the southwestern coast of India provides easy access to key maritime routes and facilitates rapid response to emerging threats and contingencies in the Indian Ocean region.