The Indian Navy is all set to acquire its first US-made long-range maritime patrol and ASW aircraft to counter the growing influence of China in Indian Ocean Region(IOR), . The first of the aircraft, known as P8I Poseidon, is expected to land in India around May 15, said an Indian Navy official.
The aircraft will be based in INS Rajali, a naval base on the Tamil Nadu coast. With a range of about 8600 km and an endurance of 10 hours, P8I Poseidon can fly non-stop up to Australia – much beyond India’s neighbouring maritime zones and augment Navy’s surveillance capability by leaps and bounds.
India is buying eight P8I ,from Boeing, at a cost of $2.1 billion. These aircraft will replace the Russian Tu-142 of Indian Navy, inducted 25 years ago. The Navy will receive the first three in 2013 and the remaining five will arrive by 2015. India is the first customer of P8I, outside the USA. New Delhi is negotiating with Washington to buy four additional P8Is from Boeing for further expanding its maritime footprint. Acquisition of 12 P8I will complete the first phase of the Navy’s requirement of 24 long range maritime reconnaissance aircraft.