In news- Aircraft manufacturer Boeing has delivered the 12th P-8I long-range maritime patrol aircraft to the Indian Navy recently.
About P-8I aircraft-
- The aircraft is designed for long-range anti-submarine warfare (ASW), anti-surface warfare (ASuW), and intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance (ISR) missions.
- It is a “multi-mission aircraft” with “state of the art sensors, proven weapons systems, and a globally recognised platform.
- The first aircraft produced by Boeing flew in 2009.
- The first of these aircraft was inducted in 2013, and it made India the first country outside the United States to get one.
- Now, apart from India and the US, it has been chosen by six other militaries in the world.
- The aircraft has two variants — the P-8I, which is manufactured for the Indian Navy, and the P-8A Poseidon, which is flown by the US Navy, the United Kingdom’s Royal Air Force, the Royal Australian Air Force, and the Royal Norwegian Air Force.
- It has also been selected by the Royal New Zealand Air Force, the Republic of Korea Navy, and the German Navy.
- P-8I have replaced the ageing Soviet/Russian Tupolev Tu-142s and it is capable of anti-submarine; intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance (ISR); patrolling, coastline defence, and other operations.
- The P-8I can fly as high as 41,000 feet, and has a short transit time.
- It is also used for low altitude, humanitarian, and search and rescue missions.
- The aircraft has two engines, and is about 40 meters long, with a wingspan of 37.64 metres.
- It requires a crew of nine, and has a range of 1,200+ nautical miles, with 4 hours on station, which means about 2,222 km.
- The aircraft comes with one of the most advanced weapon systems in the world, and has a life of around 25 years, or 25,000 hours in the harshest maritime flight regimes, including extended operations in icing environments.
India’s order for P-8I & their current status-
- In 2009, India had placed an order for eight planes, which were called P-8A Poseidon multimission maritime aircraft (MMA), by the US Navy.
- India placed the order for four more aircraft in 2016.
- The first eight of these aircraft are stationed at INS Rajali in Arakkonam, Tamil Nadu, on the eastern coast.
- The batch of the additional four are part of another squadron at INS Hansa in Goa, named Indian Naval Air Squadron 316.
- The P-8I started operations at INS Hansa in January, after the first of them reached there on December 30, 2021.
- The aircraft were inducted after fitment of indigenous equipment and Flight Acceptance Trials.
Source: The Indian Express