In­dian Navy pleased with P-8I per­for­mance on first op de­ploy­ment

SP's MAI - - SP’S EXCLUSIVES -

It was to scout the site of a tragedy that the In­dian Navy had been en­listed for, but it also hap­pened to be the first live op­er­a­tional de­ploy­ment of its P-8I long range mar­itime re­con­nais­sance air­craft. The hunt for ill-fated Malaysia Air­lines Flight MH370 saw three P-8I air­craft de­ployed from Arakkonam for du­ties from INS Utkrosh, with one air­craft sub­se­quently de­ployed to Kuala Lumpur for Malaysia-led search op­er­a­tions in the south­ern In­dian Ocean. Naval sources say the P-8I per­formed ex­cel­lently, and the crew had a chance to stretch the air­craft’s legs in a live op­er­a­tional sce­nario in a net­worked en­vi­ron­ment, com­mu­ni­cat­ing with mil­i­tary air­craft from other coun­tries and ground sta­tions. While the P-8I type was fielded at the Tropex 14 ex­er­cise as well, the hunt for MH370 was its first real-world ob­ject-ori­ented mis­sion. A US Navy P-8A was also in the air over the In­dian Ocean as part of search op­er­a­tions. The two ma­jor com­po­nents that the In­dian Navy P-8I has which aren’t fit­ted on the P-8A are Tele­phon­ics APS-143 OceanEye aft radar and a mag­netic anom­aly de­tec­tor (MAD). Sources say crew got a chance to see what each of the sub­sys­tems and sen­sors were ca­pa­ble of on a long-range mis­sion.

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