July 23 (UPI) -- India's navy accepted its first two Sikorsky MH-60R Seahawk helicopters in a ceremony at Naval Air Station North Island, Calif., the U.S. Navy announced.
Taranjit Singh Sandhu, Indian ambassador to the United States, formally received the Lockheed Martin-built helicopters in last week's ceremony, a July 23 statement from the U.S. Navy said.
The Indian Naval Fleet will obtain 24 MH-60s as part of a $3 billion military equipment deal signed in February 2020, which also includes six Boeing AH-64E Apache helicopters.
The agreement followed a $1.9 billion deal for an integrated air defense weapon system to India.
The MH-60 is naval helicopter designed to operate from frigates, destroyers, cruisers and aircraft carriers.
Based on the U.S. Army's UH-60 Black Hawk its most notable modifications are the folding main rotor and a hinged tail to reduce its footprint aboard ships.
The helicopters destined for use by India have "several India Unique Equipment and weapons," a statement by the Indian Navy said.
The statement added that "the first batch of Indian crew are presently undergoing training in the U.S.A."
"For the Indian Navy, it's really a proud moment," Indian Navy Deputy Chief of Naval Staff Vice Adm. Ravneet Singh said at the ceremony.
"The induction of the MH-60 helicopter into the Indian Navy is a symbol of the ever-growing global strategic partnership of our two countries and reinforces the common ideologies of our great nations," Singh said.