In news– Indian Naval Air Squadron 316, Indian Navy’s second P-8I aircraft squadron has been commissioned into the Indian Navy recently.
About the aircraft-
- INAS 316 has been christened ‘Condors’ which are one of the largest flying land birds with a massive wingspan.
- ‘Condors’ are known for excellent sensory capabilities, powerful and sharp talons and large massive wings symbolizing the capabilities of the aircraft and envisaged roles of the squadron.
- INAS 316 will operate the Boeing P-8I aircraft, a multi-role Long Range Maritime Reconnaissance Anti-Submarine Warfare (LRMR ASW) aircraft, that can be equipped with a range of Air-to-Ship Missiles and Torpedoes.
- This aircraft is powered by twin jet engines and has the capacity to be equipped with air-to-ship missiles and torpedoes.
- The ‘Game Changer’ aircraft is a potent platform for Maritime Surveillance and strike, Electronic warfare missions, Search and Rescue, providing targeting data to Weapon platforms, providing time-critical surveillance information for IAF and is also the platform of choice for detecting and neutralizing enemy ships and submarines in Indian Ocean Region.
- The squadron has been specifically commissioned to be the home for the four new P-8I aircraft procured under the Option Clause contract and to ‘Deter, Detect and Destroy’ any threat in the IOR.
- These aircraft have been operating from Hansa since 30 Dec 2021 and the squadron is integrated with full spectrum surface and subsurface Naval Operations.
- Now, the Indian Navy has two squadrons of P-8I – the first batch of 8 aircraft were acquired in 2013 which has completed more than 30,000 flight hours and are now stationed at INS Rajali, Arakkonam.
- The aircraft which are joining the INAS 316 are part of the four additional aircraft contracts which the Ministry of Defence had awarded in 2016.
- This aircraft also is operated by all the QUAD countries, the member countries of AUKUS operating the P-8 variant.