The Navy received the first of the four new P-8I long-range maritime patrol aircraft at its air station in Goa from the US.
- The ninth P-8I surveillance aircraft is the first to be delivered under a contract for four additional aircraft that the Union Ministry of Defence had placed in 2016. The first contract worth USD 2.1 billion for initial eight aircraft had concluded on January 1, 2009.
- The Indian Navy was the first and largest international customer for the P-8 aircraft, Boeing said in a statement.
- It added saying that it remains committed to supporting the modernisation and mission readiness of India’s defence forces.
About P-8I Aircraft
- It is a long range maritime surveillance aircraft based on Boeing 737 commercial airliner and India was its first international customer.
- Boeing’s P-8s Indian variant is referred to as P-8I.
- These aircrafts are packed with sensors and weapons to hunt submarines.
- It is designed for long-range anti-submarine warfare (ASW), anti-surface warfare (ASuW), and intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance (ISR) missions.
- The aircraft has surpassed 25,000 flight-hours and gives India’s maritime warriors a significant edge in the strategically important Indian Ocean region.
Why is it important for India?
- The P-8I surveillance plane boasts of exceptional maritime surveillance and reconnaissance capabilities. The aircraft’s versatility and operational readiness have proven to be an important asset to the Indian Navy.
- The P-8I aircraft is equipped for intelligence, surveillance, anti-surface warfare, long-range anti-submarine warfare and reconnaissance in support of the broad area, maritime and littoral operations
- Its communication suit and sensor suite comprises indigenous equipment developed by defence PSUs and private manufacturers.
- The aircraft has high speed and high endurance of about 10 hours. It is capable of thrusting a punitive response and maintaining a watch over India’s immediate and extended areas of interest.