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The Indian Navy has begun receiving the MH-60R multi-role anti-submarine warfare helicopters under a 2020 deal with US defence contractor Lockheed Martin. The order for 24 units is expected to be fulfilled by 2025, and there are plans to acquire more MH-60Rs under the Foreign Military Sales program from the US government.

While the specific number of units to be procured is yet to be confirmed, it is likely to be a smaller order, perhaps in single digits. The purpose of this additional purchase is to enhance anti-submarine operations in the face of China’s increasing presence in the waters around India.

The MH-60R helicopters will replace the retired British-built Sea King helicopters, which were procured in the early 1980s and are now mostly used for transportation, rather than their original role in anti-submarine warfare.

The Indian Navy has also shown interest in HAL’s proposed DMRH (Deck Based Multi-Role Helicopter), a 13-ton helicopter that will come in three variants customized for the Indian Navy. It is expected to enter production in 2030, using a Public-Private Partnership model of production.

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