NEW DELHI — After nearly eight years of waiting, India has signed a $300 million contract with Rosoboronexport of Russia to upgrade 10 Russian-made submarine-hunting helicopters, Kamov-28 with for the Indian Navy, said an Indian Ministry of Defence (MoD) official.

"All 10 copters will be modernized and upgraded and delivered at regular intervals over the coming five years," the official said of the Kamov-28 helicopters. India issued a request to upgrade the helicopters in 2008.

According to an Indian Navy official, the service is facing a shortage of anti-submarine warfare (ASW) helicopters and has been relying on Kamov-28s with 1980s-era technology. The other ASW helicopters with the Navy are 16 aging Sea King helicopters, which need urgent replacement, the official added.

To circumvent the European sanctions against Russia, which could hinder supply of advanced sensors from Europe, the Kamov-28s will first be sent for technical haul by Russian-based firm Russian Helicopters and then brought back to India.

Once they return to India, the helicopters will receive an upgrade of advanced European sensors at the naval base in Visakhapatnam, where Russian Helicopters engineers of the Russian Helicopters will install do the fitment of the advanced sensors, an MoD source disclosed.

However, no diplomat with the Russian Embassy would comment on how the European sensors will be procured in the face of will procure the advanced European sensors in view of the sanctions against Russia made in response to its controversial annexation of Crimea from Ukraine.

Vivek Raghuvanshi is the India correspondent for Defense News.

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