The MH-60 Romeo is considered one of the world's finest Multirole Helicopters and the Indian Navy has been waiting for such a helicopter for more than a decade.

India and the US on Tuesday finalised defence deals worth USD 3 billion under which India will procure 30 military helicopters--six AH-64 Apache and 24 MH-60 Romeo Helicopters-- from two US defence majors for Indian armed forces. The announcement on the deals was made by US President Donald Trump after his wide-ranging talks with Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

Let us also find out why these helicopters are of importance to the Indian armed forces. The MH-60 Romeo is considered one of the world's finest Multirole Helicopters and the Indian Navy has been waiting for such a helicopter for more than a decade. It is capable of launching an accurate attack by locating enemy submarines and warships in the sea. Radar, missile and rocket systems can be installed on it and this helicopter also has the capability of night vision.

This helicopter can also help in search and rescue operations in the sea. These can also be deployed on India's aircraft carriers and destroyers. With the help of the MH-60 Helicopter, India will have the power to compete with China's submarines in the Indian Ocean.

According to the defence deal, the Indian Army will also get Apache combat helicopters. An Apache missile on the battlefield also destroys enemy tanks weighing 70 tons. This attack helicopter can also target the launch pad of terrorists across the Line of Control. And with the help of Apache, India's airstrikes will be more deadly than before.

With these weapons, India and the US have pledged to strengthen their QUAD alliance against China. After the Doklam dispute in 2017, India resumed the QUAD alliance. QUAD stands for Quadrilateral Security Dialogue and is a strategic alliance of four countries--US, Japan, Australia and India. The alliance has decided to strengthen security in the Indian Ocean and South China Sea areas. Some islands in the South China Sea area are disputed by China and the strength of the four countries included in the QUAD will counter China's imperialist policies.

Talking about the convergence of interests between the two countries, PM Modi said he and Trump have decided to raise the Indo-US ties to the level of a comprehensive global strategic partnership. Under a USD 2.6 billion deal, India will buy 24 MH-60 Romeo helicopters from Lockheed Martin for the Indian Navy. Another contract to acquire six AH-64E Apache helicopters for USD 800 million from aerospace giant Boeing has also been sealed.

"We expanded our defence cooperation with agreements for India to purchase more than USD 3 billion of advanced American military equipment, including Apache and MH-60 Romeo helicopters -- the finest in the world," Trump said in his media statement. "These deals will enhance our joint defence capabilities as our militaries continue to train and operate side-by-side," the US president said.

In a statement, Boeing welcomed India's decision to acquire AH-64E Apache helicopters. "The AH-64E Apache will be a force multiplier for the Indian Army, just as it is today for the Indian Air Force," said Boeing India President Salil Gupte. He said the new contract is a testimony to the trust and long-standing partnership Boeing has nurtured over the years with Indian customers. "Through our local entity, Boeing Defence India, we are supporting the P-8I, C-17, CH-47 Chinook, and AH-64E Apache with holistic life-cycle support to assist with India's defence modernisation effort and mission-readiness at competitive costs," he said.

Defence and security ties between India and the US have been on an upswing in the last six years. The bilateral defence trade touched USD 18 billion mark in 2019, reflecting growing defence cooperation between the two sides. Both sides have also been pushing for joint venture and collaboration between private sectors of the two countries in defence manufacturing.

In June 2016, the US had designated India a "Major Defence Partner," intending to elevate defence trade and technology sharing with New Delhi to a level commensurate with that of its closest allies and partners.