Preparations have begun for the Indian Navy to get infallible weapons to deal with the increasing interference of the Chinese Navy in the Indian Ocean and Arabian Sea. The MH 60R, a Romeo Helicopter, purchased from the US is excellent in handling any submarine or warship. The submarine fleet is the weakest link in the Indian Navy and the presence of Chinese submarine in the Indian Ocean is raising concern.
The decision to purchase 24 Romeo helicopters at a price of around 20000 crores was taken during President Trump’s visit to India in February. On 15 February, the deal has been stamped on about 7000 crore rupees. The remaining price will be for the weapons and equipment used in the helicopter. With the deal with Lockheed Martin, it has been agreed to give three Romeo helicopters designed for the US Navy to India. All three will be used for training of Indian Navy pilots. Romeo helicopters will start getting to the Indian Navy by next year.
The Indian Navy currently has a total of 16 submarines, including nuclear submarines. The Indian Navy had planned to build a total of 24 new submarines by 2024, of which only 2 have been found so far. At the same time, China has about 76 total submarine numbers, out of which 10 are nuclear submarines. China is also giving 8 submarines of Yuan class to Pakistan which are expected to join the Pakistani Navy by 2028. The yuan class submarine has an air independent propulsion so that it can remain in the sea with great silence.
China is continuously increasing its naval strength and its submarines have been seen in the Indian Ocean many times. Also, in the name of protecting its maritime trade, China is also sending its big warships to the Arabian Sea and Indian Ocean. To deal with these challenges, the Indian Navy is still relying on the five decade old Sea King Anti Submarine Helicopter.
The Romeo helicopter is capable of locating and destroying any submarine or ship. Romeo has excellent sensors for locating submarines under the sea and a Mark 54 torpedo to destroy it. It has Hellfire missiles to destroy any warships. Romeo helicopter can fly up to a height of 12000 feet in any weather, day or night, and it can have a speed of up to 270 km.