A submarine is the most potent threat for any naval battle group or an individual watercraft. It could turn a healthy ship into wreckage in a matter of minutes and can cause devastation, with the increase in the number of Chinese naval bases around the Indian Ocean region, the dragon has created an alarming situation for the Indian Navy which is still heavily dependent over its age-old fleet of English sea King helicopter (Indian Navy has already decommissioned the Sea King 42, 42 alpha variant and currently Sea King 42 beta and 42 charlie are in use) the latest deal inked between Washington and New Delhi for the procurement of Lockheed Martin Sikorsky MH-60 Romeo helicopters worth $2.6Bn, there will be an immense increase in the tactical operational and strategic capability of the Indian Navy.
“Romeo” also known as “submarine Hunter” is a multi-role helicopter capable of performing anti-submarine, Antiship and anti-surface operations precisely it can be used for personnel transfer, vertical replenishment, logistical support, and search and rescue operations.
Romeo is capable of performing both day and night operations, enable with a digital, multi-mission glass cockpit along with dual embedded navigation system, armed with Hellfire missiles, precision kill weapon systems, and MK 54 torpedoes give it an edge over other similar platforms.
For Anti-surface warfare operations, Romeo can carry weapons on its four hardpoints, including an AGM-114 Hellfire Missile (which can be replaced by antiship AGM-119 penguin missiles) For Anti-submarine warfare it is equipped with 3 ATK MK50 or MK46 lightweight torpedoes and is also teethed with a 7.62 mm machine gun for self-defence purpose, it uses FL infrared along with Laser Range finder for detection and tracking purpose. It has an advanced link 16 communication system, which is interoperable and can act as a communication hub at the time of critical operation or friendly practices.
Romeo has a range of radars and sensors to detect the submarine inside deep-sea like the Sonobuoy launcher and a Raytheon advanced airborne low-frequency (ALFS) dipping sonar to detect submarines at any depth. It is also equipped with an early missile warning system, laser jamming, passive jamming, and infrared missile jamming which makes it an advance electronic warfare capable machine.
Romeo can be easily operated from the deck of aircraft carriers, destroyers, and frigates making it handy to operate. The foldable blade and the hinged rotor make it more demanding and give it few add on stealth features as its radius cross-section is reduced.
Romeo will replace the aging fleet of Sea King helicopter and the Guarding India Team Believes that it will surely give teeth to the Indian Navy by increasing its firepower and submarine hunting capacity thus making it dominant in the region and subsequently helping counter the growing “Chinese threat”.