The Indian Navy will purchase 12 aircraft from American aircraft manufacturer Boeing by 2020.This was revealed by Steve Tripp, Senior Manager, P-8 A international Global Marketing and and sales of the Boeing company on the sidelines of the Singapore Air Show.
Tripp said the twelve aircraft will be delivered to Indian Navy by 2020 as agreed in the terms of contract signed earlier years.
It may be noted that eight aircraft were ordered in 2015 and later the contract was extended to include the purchase of four more aircraft in 2016.
The P-8I aircraft is based on the Boeing Next Generation 737-800 aircraft. The forward section of the under-fuselage houses an internal weapons bay. The wings are fitted with hardpoints for carrying air-to-surface missiles.
In 2009, India signed a US$2.1 billion deal with Boeing for the supply of eight P-8Is to replace the Navy’s aging Tupolev Tu-142M surveillance aircraft. Each aircraft has an average cost of about US$220 million. In late 2010, Government of India approved the purchase of four additional P-8Is, bringing the total number of aircraft to 12. India plans to order another 12 P-8Is at a later time.
The P-8I is intended to conduct anti-submarine warfare (ASW) and shipping interdiction and to engage in an electronic intelligence (ELINT) role. This will involve carrying torpedoes, depth charges, SLAM-ER anti-ship missiles, and other weapons. It will also be able to drop and monitor sonobuoys. The aircraft is equipped with a CAE AN/ASQ-508A magnetic anomaly detection (MAD) system, APS-143C(V)3 multimode radar and a global version of the Raytheon APY-10 surveillance radar. The APY-10 radar provides precise information in all weather, day and night missions. The internal weapons bay can house Mark 54 torpedoes, depth charges and free-fall bombs. The under-wing hardpoints can be armed with air-to-surface missiles. In December 2010, India requested a sale of AGM-84L Harpoon Block II anti-ship missiles and associated equipment. The Harpoon Block II carries a 226kg blast / fragmentation warhead. It can be fired against land and sea targets.
The first aircraft arrived in India on the 15 May 2013 and as of date; all eight aircraft have been inducted into the Indian Navy and are fully integrated into its operations. All of them are based at INS Rajali and under the banner of INAS 312 A.
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