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India looking to get 4 additional Boeing P-8I
By IANS | Bharat Defence Kavach | Publish Date: 12/4/2014 12:00:00 AM

New Delhi: Indian Navy has moved the case to have follow on order and procure another 4 Boeing P-8I long range maritime reconnaissance aircraft.

India had originally ordered eight such planes at a cost of US $ 2.1 Billion and has so far received six of these and based them at INS Rajali, at Arakonnam north of Chennai. The planes are used for patrolling the Sea Lanes of Communication (SLOC’s) extending east and west of peninsular India.

 “We are progressing the case for the option clause ( buying additional planes) and the case is in process,” Indian Navy Chief Admiral RK Dhowan told  a press conference in New Delhi  here on Wednesday.

It is potent for maritime reconnaissance. at the same time has capability for anti submarine and anti ship warfare and various operation, the Admiral said as he buttressed the argument. Additional planes will be handy as the Navy now has an expanded role especially with Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s ‘Act east policy’ and to check on an increasing deployment of Chinese warships  in the Indian Ocean.

The P-8I series of planes keep an effective watch on the Andaman and Nicobar islands and the straits of Mallaca, through which 60,000 ships transit each year. The Navy’s primary area of interest is the Indian Ocean which is now centre of gravity of shipping. The numbers are huge, 66 % of all world oil, 50 % world container traffic and 33 per cent of cargo traffic transits through these waters.  80 per cent of the oil and trade that emanates from this region is extra regional ( meaning going out or coming from outside) some 125 ships of about 25 countries are always present in Indian ocean to safeguard maritime interests. “Global commons are becoming very vulnerable,” Admiral Dhowan said today.

The Boeing P-8I is derivative of the  P-8A used by the United States Navy. The aircraft is developed by Boeing Defence, Space & Security, modified from the commercial planes 737-800ERX.

The P-8I capabilities are vast,  it  conducts anti-submarine warfare , anti-surface warfare , and shipping interdiction, along with electronic signals intelligence (ELINT) role. This involves carrying torpedoes, depth charges, SLAM-ER missiles,

The P-8I variant features two major components that aren''t fitted on the P-8A, a Telephonics APS-143 OceanEye aft radar and a magnetic anomaly detector (MAD).

The Bharat Electronics Limited (BEL) Data Link communications allows the P-8I to exchanging tactical data between Indian Navy aircraft, ships and shore establishments.The P-8I features an integrated BEL-developed  system.

On the sea-borne aircraft carrier, the Navy Chief said, the INS Vikramaditya has been operationally deployed.   MiG29-K pilots have carried out hundreds of arrested landing and take offs. “I would put all fears to rest the carrier is operationalised”, he said.--ends--


India looking to get 4 additional Boeing P-8I


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