Indian Navy’s P-8I of the US Boeing Company’s Long-range Reconnaissance Anti-submarine warfare aircraft made its maiden landing at Car Nicobar on Friday. According to the official spokesperson of the Indian Navy, Capt DK Sharma, “For the Indian Navy, this gives a huge tactical advantage for operating from Andaman & Nicobar Islands.”
The P-8I has been customised for the Indian Navy’s use with not only unique features but also Indian-built sub-systems that are tailored to meet the country’s maritime patrol requirements.
The P-8I is a long-range anti-submarine warfare, anti-surface warfare, intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance aircraft capable of broad-area, maritime and littoral operations and is a variant of the P-8A Poseidon that is for the US Navy.
This aircraft is the military derivative of the Next-Generation 737-800 which is a combination of the superior performance and reliability with an advanced mission system that ensures maximum interoperability in the future battle space.
The Indian Navy was the first international customer for this aircraft when it signed a contract in 2009 for eight long-range maritime reconnaissance and anti-submarine warfare aircraft.
The aircraft is one of the best for surveillance in the world today with state-of-the-art equipment and capabilities. This will provide the Indian Navy the necessary reach and flexibility to undertake extensive surveillance and also to respond swiftly and effectively to contingencies in India’s areas of interest.
According to the Indian Navy and as reported by FE earlier, the first aircraft arrived in India in May 2013 and all eight aircraft have been inducted into the Indian Navy and are fully integrated into its operations.
The P-8I 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. Its communication and sensor suite includes indigenous equipment developed by defence PSUs and private manufacturers.
With its high speed and high endurance of about 10 hours, the aircraft is capable of thrusting a punitive response and maintaining a watch over India’s immediate and extended areas of interest.
The Andaman & Nicobar Command has got just 20 small warships and patrol vessels, and a few Mi-8 helicopters and this will help in giving more strength to the Indian Ocean Region.