The Indian navy’s third Sikorsky MH-60R anti-submarine warfare (ASW) helicopter has conducted its maiden flight from Lockheed Martin’s test site.

In May 2020, Lockheed unit Sikorsky signed a $905 million contract with the US Navy to produce 24 MH-60Rs.

The US delivered two helicopters and a new maritime patrol plane to India earlier in July 2021.

The aircraft are some of the best sub-hunters available and will boost the Indian navy's capabilities. The deliveries of these deadly machines come amid heightened tensions with China in the Himalayan and Indian Ocean regions.

Lockheed Martin says the MH-60R is the world's "most capable and mature" helicopter for ASW.

Overall, India will obtain a total of 24 MH-60Rs. The country’s Cabinet Committee on Security signed off on the deal in February 2020.

Also being pursued are two other naval helicopter requirements: the 111-unit Naval Utility Helicopter program and 123-aircraft Naval Multi Role Helicopter effort.

India's navy believes the MH-60Rs will augment its "crucial" search-and-rescue, anti-submarine warfare, and anti-surface warfare capabilities, Singh added.