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India Gets New Long Range P-8I Patrol Plane | India News


NEW DELHI: The Navy received the first of four new P-8I long-range maritime patrol aircraft, which are equipped with sensors and weapons for hunting submarines, on Wednesday at its air station in Goa, the United States.
The other three P-8Is, under the $ 1.1 billion contract signed with the US in July 2016, will be delivered next year. While these four new P-8Is will be based at INS Hansa in Goa for the west coast, the eight previously acquired such aircraft will be deployed at INS Rajali in Arakkonam (Tamil Nadu) for the east.
Although it was primarily intended to keep a hawk’s eye on the Indian Ocean region, India has also been using P-8Is extensively to track the movements and build-up of Chinese troops in eastern Ladakh. “The radars and electro-optical sensors on board the P-8Is are very advanced,” said one officer.
The first eight P-8I aircraft manufactured by Boeing, which are also armed with Harpoon Block-II missiles, MK-54 light torpedoes, rockets and depth charges to “kill” enemy submarines, were incorporated by the Navy under a $ 2.1 billion deal signed in January 2009.
With a top speed of 907 km / h and an operational range of 1,200 nautical miles, “with four hours on station”, the P-8Is provide the range and flexibility to carry out extensive maritime surveillance and intelligence gathering missions.
India, by the way, is now also finalizing the acquisition of six more P-8Is for $ 1.8 billion from the United States. These six aircraft will have more advanced systems as a result of India signing the COMCASA (Communications, Compatibility and Safety Agreement) pact with the US in September 2018, as previously reported by TOI.

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