The Indian Navy’s air power will be beefed up with the induction of P8i long-range maritime patrol aircraft. Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar will formally dedicate the P8i aircraft to the nation at a special function to be held at INS Rajali, premier naval air station at Arakonam in Tamil Nadu. The P8i aircraft is a variant of P8A Poseidon aircraft from Boeing as a replacement for the US Navy’s ageing P-3 fleet. Indian Navy in 2009 became the first international customer for the aircraft signing $2 billion worth contract to acquire eight aircraft.
Did You Know???
- The P8i aircraft is equipped for long-range anti-submarine warfare, anti-surface warfare, intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance in support of broad area, maritime and littoral operations.
- The induction of all eight aircraft has reinforced the long-range maritime reconnaissance and air anti-submarine warfare capability of the Indian Navy.
- It will also provide enhanced maritime surface and sub-surface surveillance in the entire Indian Ocean Region.
- The aircraft was deployed by the Indian Navy from Malaysia and Port Blair as India’s flag bearer during the search for missing Malaysian Airlines MH 370 in March 2015.