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In a significant milestone for self-reliance in maritime defense, the Indian Navy has successfully completed the maiden in-country pilot training for the multi-role MH-60R Seahawk helicopters. The graduation ceremony at INS Garuda, Kochi, marked a proud moment for the trainees and a stepping stone towards achieving “AtmaNirbharta” (self-reliance) in this advanced platform.

Rear Admiral Anshuman Chauhan, Assistant Chief of the Naval Staff (Air Materiel), presented graduation parchments to the successful trainees, commending their dedication and skill. The ceremony also lauded the completion of conversion training for Air Operations officers, including two pioneering women officers, and competency training for technical personnel.

The MH-60R Seahawk is a versatile helicopter known for its anti-submarine warfare, anti-surface warfare, search and rescue, and special operations capabilities. Previously, pilot training for these helicopters was conducted in the United States. However, successfully establishing in-country training capability signifies a significant advancement in the Indian Navy’s technical expertise and operational autonomy.

The benefits of in-country training extend beyond cost-effectiveness. It allows for tailored training programs specific to the Indian Navy’s operational environment and needs. Additionally, it fosters self-reliance and reduces dependence on foreign expertise, solidifying India’s position as a maritime power.

This achievement also highlights the increasing role of women in the Indian Navy. The inclusion of two female officers in the pilot training program showcases the Navy’s commitment to gender equality and its recognition of the valuable contributions women can make in this critical domain.

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