Defence Minister Shri Manohar Parrikar dedicated the Boeing P 8 I (Poseidon Eight India) Long Range Maritime Patrol aircraft to the nation at a ceremony held at INS Rajali at Arakkonam, 70 Km off Chennai.
- Chief of Naval Staff Admiral RK Dhowan, Flag Officer Commanding-in-Chief Eastern Naval Command Vice Admiral Satish Soni attended the ceremony.
Features of P-8I aircraft
The P-8I aircraft is equipped for long range anti-submarine warfare, anti -surface warfare, intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance in support of broad area, maritime and littoral operations.
- It has maximum speed of 907 kmph and an operating range of over 1,200 nautical miles “with four hours on station”.
- P-8I will be able to detect “threats” and neutralize them if required.
- It is armed with deadly Harpoon Block-II missiles, MK-54 lightweight torpedoes, rockets and depth charges.
- The sensors and radar-packed aircraft are the country’s “intelligent hawk eyes”.
About P-8I aircraft
The P-8I aircraft is a variant of the P-8A Poseidon aircraft that Boeing developed as a replacement for the US Navy’s ageing P-3 fleet.
- Indian Navy became the first international customer for the P-8 aircraft with the conclusion of the nearly US $ 2.1 billion contract on 01 Jan 2009 for a total of eight aircraft.
- The first aircraft arrived in India on the 15 May 2013.
The aircraft are based at INS Rajali and are operated by Indian Naval Air Squadron 312A under the command of Commander Venkateshwaran Ranganathan.