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The Indian Navy commissioned the first squadron of its newly-inducted MH 60R Seahawk multi-role choppers in Kochi on Wednesday. According to an official release, “INAS 334 ‘Seahawks’ was commissioned in the presence of Admiral R Hari Kumar, the Chief of Naval Staff at INS Garuda, Southern Naval Command, Kochi, on March 6, 2024.” This landmark event marked the formal induction of these versatile and capable helicopters into the first MH 60R Naval Air Squadron, commanded by Captain M Abhisheik Ram, it said.

The Chief of Naval Staff was presented with a 50-man Guard of Honor on arrival at the venue. As per the release, the commissioning ceremony commenced with the recitation of the invocation followed by the reading of the squadron’s commissioning warrant by the commanding officer. Thereafter, the commissioning plaque was unveiled by the Chief of Naval Staff in the presence of Vice Admiral V Srinivas, Flag Officer Commanding-in-Chief Southern Naval Command.

The ceremony was marked with a scintillating fly-past by a formation of Seahawks and the traditional water canon salute to mark the historic day. The event was also attended by V Adm Sanjay J Singh, Flag Officer Commanding-in-Chief of Western Naval Command, V Adm Tarun Sobti, Deputy Chief of Naval Staff, V Adm A N Pramod, Director General Naval Operations; and other flag officers and senior officers. While addressing the gathering, the Chief of the Naval Staff described the MH-60R helicopter as one of the most potent multi-role helicopters in the world, which will significantly enhance the country’s maritime capabilities and secure national interests.

“As far as the Indian Navy is concerned, we have an unequivocal commitment to the nation–that of protecting, preserving, promoting and pursuing national interests in the maritime domain. With their cutting-edge sensors and multi-mission capabilities, MH-60Rs will augment our maritime surveillance and anti-submarine warfare capabilities,” he said. He commended the officers and men of ‘Seahawks’ for the commissioning of INAS 334, highlighting the swift progress made by the squadron in fully integrating with the Fleet. He further urged the crew of INAS 334 to continue to strive for excellence and be mission-ready to keep the nation’s waters safe, secure and stable.