The United States Department of State has approved the sale of 24 MH-60R multi-mission helicopters to India under its Foreign Military Sales (FMS) program. The value of the potential is $2.6 billion, as per a statement released on Tuesday by the Defense Security Cooperation Agency (DSCA), the body that administers the FMS program. The principal contractor for the deal will be Lockheed Martin.
The DSCA submitted its certification notifying Congress of the possible sale, kicking off a 30-day notification period. Congress is not required to approve or disapprove the potential sale. If it simply takes no action for the 30-day period, the sale moves forward.
“The proposed sale will provide India the capability to perform anti-surface and anti-submarine warfare missions along with the ability to perform secondary missions, including vertical replenishment, search and rescue, and communications relay. India will use the enhanced capability as a deterrent to regional threats and to strengthen its homeland defense,” the DSCA said.
In the case of India and most other non-NATO countries, Congress must be notified for sale of Major Defense Equipment (MDE) of $14 million and above, defence articles and services of $50 million and above and design and construction services of $200 million and above.
The statement notes that India typically requires offsets and that any offset agreement will be defined between India and the contractor.