The Indian Cabinet Committee on Security (CCS), has approved the purchase of four additional Boeing P-8I Neptune maritime reconnaissance aircraft at a cost of $1 billion.
The four new aircraft, to be acquired through the United States Foreign Military Sales program, will augment the existing eight P-8I aircraft in service with the Indian Navy.
India received the first Boeing P-8I in May 2013, while the latest of eight was transferred to the country in November 2015. the first 8 planes were bought under a January, 2009 contract valued at US$2.1 billion. The new planes were acquired to replace the nation’s ageing P-3 fleet.
In addition to Raytheon’s radar equipment, the planes will, according to IHS Janes, be armed with four Harpoon Block II anti-ship missiles and Raytheon Integrated Defense Systems Mk 54 Mod 0 lightweight anti-submarine warfare torpedoes.
Based at INS Rajali, the current eight aircraft are operated by Indian Naval Air Squadron 312A.