Navy’s Boeing P-8I touches down at the Emerald Islands
The Boeing P-8I, a long-range maritime reconnaissance anti-submarine warfare (LRMR/ASW) aircraft of the Indian Navy, made its maiden landing at the INS Utkrosh airfield on August 6. Piloted by the Squadron Commander (designate), Commander H.S. Jhajj, the aircraft under call sign ‘IN 321’ was welcomed to the islands by the Commander-in-Chief, Andaman and Nicobar Command, Air Marshal P.K. Roy, at an event that was attended by senior officers of the Unified Command. The aircraft that landed here is the same that arrived in India in May this year. It is the first of the eight aircraft that are being procured under a contract signed in 2009 and is based on the Boeing 737-800 platform. The aircraft is based at INS Rajali, Arakkonam.
The P-8I is the Indian naval variant of the P-8A ‘Poseidon’ aircraft that Boeing has developed for the US Navy and India is the first international customer of this aircraft. 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.
The induction of these aircraft into the Indian Navy has provided a quantum leap to India’s maritime surveillance capability in the Indian Ocean Region and enhanced the Navy’s strategic reach.