Modi government has signed a pact with US defence major Boeing, for the purchase of four P-8I (Poseidons) long-range aircraft.
Giving a boost to maritime surveillance operations of the Indian Navy, the Modi government has signed a pact with US defence major Boeing, for the purchase of four P-8I (Poseidons) long-range aircraft. According to reports, the $1 billion pact has been signed, for four more reconnaissance P8Is, apart from the ones that the Indian Navy already has. The pact is reported to have been signed earlier today. India has currently deployed eight Boeing P-8I aircraft in the Indian Ocean region to track submarine movements. The deal for more Poseidons is being seen as an attempt to bolster India’s defence in the Indian Ocean and check China’s presence in the area.
P-8Is are often called the “hawk eyes” of the Indian Navy in the Indian Ocean region. India received the first P-8I aircraft in May 2013 and as of now all eight aircraft are integrated into the Indian Navy’s operations. Last year, Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar flew on board a Boeing P-8I and he has described the it as one of the best for surveillance in the world. The P-8I aircraft for Indian Navy is actually a variant of the Boeing P-8A Poseidon that was developed as a replacement for US Navy’s P-3 fleet. Indian Navy was the first international customer for the P-8I aircraft after it signed a $2.1 billion contract in 2009 for eight surveillance aircraft.
The aircraft boasts of long-range anti submarine warfare, anti-surface warfare, intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance capabilities. Boeing claims that it is using a first-in-industry production process and its existing Next-Generation 737 production system to design and build the P-8I for India as well as the P-8A Poseidon for the US Navy.