Indian Navy’s P-8I aircraft begins operations from INS Hansa

New Delhi: The Indian Navy’s Boeing P-8I maritime patrol aircraft commenced operations from INS Hansa, Goa with two aircraft arriving on 30 December 2021.

The aircraft were inducted after fitment of indigenous equipment and Flight Acceptance Trials. On arrival, the aircraft were welcomed by a MiG 29K formation.

The Indian Navy had acquired the first batch of eight P-8I aircraft in 2013 that are stationed at INS Rajali, Arakkonam.

“The second batch of four additional aircraft will be based at Indian Naval Air Squadron 316, to be commissioned at INS Hansa,” Indian Navy said in a statement.

The Ministry of Defence had first signed a contract for eight P-8I aircraft in 2009. In 2016, the ministry further signed a contract for 4 additional P-8I aircraft.

Besides surveillance and reconnaissance missions, the P-8 aircraft provides long-range anti-submarine warfare, anti-surface warfare, and intelligence capabilities. It can also be deployed for disaster relief and humanitarian missions.

The arrival of the aircraft will further boost Indian Navy’s surveillance, reconnaissance, and electronic jamming capabilities particularly in the Indian Ocean Region. The aircraft will help Indian Navy keep a close watch over the activities of the Chinese.

Earlier, the US based aerospace company in a statement said that the ‘patrol aircraft is an integral part of the Indian Navy’s fleet and since its induction in 2013 has since then crossed 30,000 flight hours’.

The aircraft is also operated by the US Navy, the Royal Australian Navy and the United Kingdom Royal Air Force.

UNI

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