First P-8I lands in In­dia

SP's MAI - - FRONT PAGE -

The first of the eight Boe­ing P-8I long-range mar­itime re­con­nais­sance and anti-sub­ma­rine war­fare air­craft of the In­dian Navy ar­rived at the Naval Air Sta­tion Ra­jali, Arakkonam, Tamil Nadu, on May 15. Vice Ad­mi­ral Bi­mal Verma, Chief of Staff, Eastern Naval Com­mand, presided over the in­duc­tion cer­e­mony that was at­tended by Com­modore Puneet Bahl, Com­mand­ing Of­fi­cer, INS Ra­jali, rep­re­sen­ta­tives from the Com­mand and In­te­grated Head­quar­ters and the Min­istry of De­fence (Navy).

The P-8I air­craft, based on the Boe­ing 737-800 (NG) air­frame, is the In­dian Naval vari­ant of the P-8A Po­sei­don that Boe­ing has de­vel- oped for the US Navy. The air­craft is equipped with both for­eign as well as in­dige­nous sen­sors for mar­itime re­con­nais­sance, anti-sub­ma­rine op­er­a­tions and elec­tronic in­tel­li­gence mis­sions. The air­craft is fully in­te­grated with state-of-the-art sen­sors and highly po­tent anti-sur­face and anti-sub­ma­rine weapons.

Th­ese LRMR/ASW air­craft have been pro­cured un­der the con­tract signed in 2009. The In­dian Navy is in the process of ac­quir­ing an ad­di­tional four P-8I air­craft un­der the op­tion clause. The in­duc­tion of the P-8I air­craft into the In­dian Navy would greatly en­hance In­dia’s mar­itime sur­veil­lance ca­pa­bil­ity in the In­dian Ocean re­gion.

In­dian and Amer­i­can teams with the air­craft; (be­low, left to right) Vice Ad­mi­ral Bi­mal Verma with

Com­modore P.K. Bahl, CO Ra­jali and Com­man­der H.S. Jhajj; P-8I del­e­ga­tion pre­sent­ing Vice Ad­mi­ral Verma with a ban­ner signed by his team mem­bers

and Vice Ad­mi­ral Verma, Chief of Staff, Eastern Naval Com­mand re­ceiv­ing Com­man­der H.S. Jhajj,

Off­fi­cer-in-Charge, P-8I Cell.

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