Indian Navy gets 12th P-81 Aircraft from Boeing

Indian Navy received the 12th P-8I Poseidon maritime patrol aircraft from Boeing on February 23. “This is the fourth of four additional aircraft delivered under the options contract signed by the Ministry of Defence in 2016,” Boeing said. P-8I aircraft is equipped for long-range anti-submarine warfare, anti-surface warfare, intelligence, surveillance among others, Defence Ministry said.

The aircraft is designed for “long-range anti-submarine warfare (ASW), anti-surface warfare (ASuW), and intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance (ISR) missions”, according to its maker, and is a “multi-mission aircraft” with “state of the art sensors, proven weapons systems, and a globally recognised platform”.

The first aircraft produced by Boeing flew in 2009 and has been in service with the US Navy since 2013, the same year as the Indian Navy. Apart from India and the US, it has been chosen by six other militaries in the world.

The aircraft has two variants — the P-8I, which is manufactured for the Indian Navy, and the P-8A Poseidon, which is flown by the US Navy, the United Kingdom’s Royal Air Force, the Royal Australian Air Force, and the Royal Norwegian Air Force. It has also been selected by the Royal New Zealand Air Force, the Republic of Korea Navy, and the German Navy.

The P-8I started operations at INS Hansa in January, after the first of them reached there on December 30, 2021. “The aircraft was inducted after fitment of indigenous equipment and Flight Acceptance Trials. On arrival, the aircraft were welcomed by a MiG 29K formation,” the Navy had said in January.