by Staff Correspondent
In order to fulfil offset obligations with Indian Navy, Lockheed Martin continues to make significant progress to discharge the 24 MRH Offset Obligation and execute its longer-term plan of establishing regular commercial relationships with the Indian Industry.
Responding to IADB’s queries seeking the status of offset linked to the sale of 24 Lockheed Martin/Sikorsky MH-60R multirole naval helicopters for the Indian Navy (IN), A. Hamid Salim Vice President, Sikorsky Maritime & Mission Systems informed that, “The first Annual Offset Project Plan has been approved by the Defense Offset Management Wing (DOMW) and is now in the execution phase. This annual plan contains Offset Projects involving nearly 30 Indian Offset Partners in the next two years.”
Adding to it, he further stated that two specific projects begun in the first Annual Offset Project Plan have eventual total Indian-Added Value of approximately $50M US each. “Indian Offset Partners (IOP) export deliveries are underway; Lockheed Martin has proactively and preemptively begun all its offset work within three months of first Annual Offset Project plan approval. Further Offset Projects are in development; these will begin to be seen in the forthcoming second Annual Offset Project Proposal to DOMW; expected to be provided Q4 2021.”
According to Hamid Salim, beyond 24 MRH, Lockheed Martin has long recognized the mutual benefit of working with India Industry and remains focused on the transfer of technologies and indigenization. For example, the ten-year partnership between Sikorsky and Tata Advanced Systems Ltd has produced more than 154 S-92 helicopter cabins and has achieved more than 87% indigenous content. This stance will continue in the future as Lockheed Martin pursues further India Programs and Opportunities; together taking steps towards the Government of India’s Self Reliant India/ Atmanirbhar Bharat and Make in India/ Investment in Manufacturing efforts.
The governments of India and the United States signed a deal – worth USD2.6 billion – for the sale of these helicopters through the US Foreign Military Sales mechanism in February 2020. According to recent reports, Indian Navy is set to boost its fleet with the addition of three 24 MH-60 “Romeo” multirole helicopters in July. The United States is set to hand over the first set of multi-role helicopters to the force.
According to reports, the first batch of Indian Pilots has also reached the US for receiving the training on helicopters in the meantime.