India’s long-range maritime snooping and anti-submarine warfare capabilities will get a huge boost when the first of the eight contracted P-8I Poseidon maritime patrol aircraft (MPA) touches down at the Arakkonam Naval Air Station in Tamil Nadu on Wednesday.
Under the $2.1 billion deal inked with US aviation major Boeing in January 2009, the second and the third P-8I aircraft will reach the naval air station INS Rajali in August and November, with the other five being progressively delivered by 2015. India is going in for a repeat order of four more P-8I in a contract worth over $1 billion.
Boeing P-8 Poseidon
Boeing P-8 Poseidon is a military aircraft developed for the United States Navy (USN). The aircraft has been developed by Boeing Defense, Space & Security, modified from the 737-800ERX.
The P-8 conducts anti-submarine warfare (ASW), anti-surface warfare (ASUW), and shipping interdiction, along with an early warning self-protection (EWSP) ability, otherwise known as electronic support measures (ESM).
This involves carrying torpedoes, depth charges, Harpoon anti-ship missiles, and other weapons. It is able to drop and monitor sonobuoys. It is designed to operate in conjunction with the Northrop Grumman MQ-4C Triton Broad Area Maritime Surveillance unmanned aerial vehicle.
The P-8 is operated by the U.S. Navy, the Indian Navy (as the P-8I Neptune), and the Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF). The aircraft has been ordered by the UK’s Royal Air Force (RAF), and the Royal Norwegian Air Force (RNoAF).