The Boeing P 8 I (Poseidon Eight India) Long Range Maritime Patrol aircraft was admitted into the Indian defence forces this morning, November 13.
The aircraft was introduced by the Defence Minister, Shri Manohar Parrikar, at a ceremony held at INS Rajali in Arakkonam, India.
The P-8I aircraft is a variant of the P-8A Poseidon aircraft that Boeing developed as a replacement for the US Navy’s ageing P-3 fleet. Indian Navy became the first international customer for the P-8 aircraft with the conclusion of the nearly US $ 2.1 billion contract on Jan 1, 2009 for a total of eight aircraft. The first aircraft arrived in India on the May 15 2013 and as of date; 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.
The aircraft are based at INS Rajali, and are operated by Indian Naval Air Squadron 312A under the command of Commander Venkateshwaran Ranganathan.