What is the News?
The US State Department has approved the proposal for the sale of six P-8I patrol aircraft and related equipment to India. According to the estimations, the deal have cost India around $2.42 billion.
About P-8I patrol aircraft:
- P-8I is a long-range, multi-mission maritime patrol aircraft. US-based manufacturer Boeing developed this aircraft.
- The aircraft is based on the Boeing 737 commercial aircraft and India is its first international customer.
- Features: The design of the aircraft is such, it protects the vast coastline and territorial waters of India. It can also conduct anti-submarine warfare (ASW), anti-surface warfare (AsuW), intelligence, maritime patrol and surveillance, and reconnaissance missions.
- Significance: As India has signed the Communications Compatibility and Security Agreement (COMCASA) foundational agreement with the US, the aircraft will come fitted with encrypted systems.
Orders and Deliveries of P-8I patrol aircraft:
- In 2009, the Indian Government selected Boeing to supply eight P-8I maritime reconnaissance aircraft to the Indian Navy. The contract also included an option for four P-8I aircraft.
- The first P-8I aircraft was delivered to the Indian Navy in December 2012 and the remaining aircraft were delivered between 2013 and 2015.
- In 2019, the Defence Acquisition Council(DAC) provided its approval for the procurement of six additional P-8I aircraft for the Indian Navy.
Source: The Hindu