India navy expands maritime reconnaissance capabilities with delivery of tenth P-8I

Photo: An Indian Navy P-8I maritime surveillance aircraft from the Boeing stable.

New Delhi: American aerospace and defence giant Boeing Co. is continuing to expand the Indian Navy’s long-range maritime reconnaissance anti-submarine warfare capabilities with the delivery of the country’s tenth P-8I aircraft. The patrol aircraft is an integral part of the Indian Navy’s fleet and has surpassed 30,000 flight hours since it was inducted in 2013.

This is the second aircraft to be delivered under an option contract for four additional aircraft that the Indian Ministry of Defence awarded in 2016. The Indian Navy was the first international customer for the P-8 and today operates the largest non-US fleet. The P-8 is also operated by the U.S. Navy, Royal Australian Air Force and the United Kingdom’s Royal Air Force.

“In addition to unmatched maritime reconnaissance and anti-submarine warfare capabilities, the P-8I have been deployed to assist during disaster relief and humanitarian missions. Boeing supports India’s growing P-8I fleet by providing training of Indian Navy flight crews, spare parts, ground support equipment and field service representative support. Boeing’s integrated logistics support has enabled a high state of fleet readiness at the lowest possible cost,” the company statement said today.

Boeing is currently completing construction on the Training Support and Data Handling Centre at INS Rajali, Arakkonam, Tamil Nadu and a secondary maintenance training centre at Naval Institute of Aeronautical Technology, Kochi, Kerala as part of a training and support package contract signed in 2019. This new indigenous, ground-based training will allow Indian Navy crew to increase mission proficiency in a shorter time, while reducing on-aircraft training time resulting in increased aircraft availability.

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