Indian Navy Approves 10 More Boeing P-81 Maritime Surveillance Planes

By: IMR Reporter
 
NEW DELHI - Aug. 16, 2019 - PRLog -- The Ministry of Defence (MoD) has approved the procurement of 10 more Boeing P-8I Neptune long-range maritime multi-mission aircraft for the Indian Navy for a total of $3 billion, according to Indian Military Review.

The Services Capital Acquisition Categorisation Higher Committee (SCAPCHC), headed by the Chief of Integrated Staff or CISC, a senior lieutenant-general and including the three vice chiefs of staff of the three services cleared the proposal of about Rs 22,500 crore ($US 3.2 million), on 20 June.

The proposed P-8Is are expected to supplement 12 similar platforms, eight of which were ordered in 2009 for $2.1 billion and delivered by 2015. The other four were ordered in 2016 for $1.1 billion and are scheduled for delivery from 2021. The actual contract is scheduled to be signed early next year.

First, the deal will have to be cleared by the Defense Acquisition Council, which is headed by defence minister Rajnath Singh and includes the three chiefs and the defense secretary, and then, by the Cabinet Committee on Security, which is headed by Prime Minister Narendra Modi and includes the finance, defence, home and external affairs ministers.

The aircraft themselves will be directly bought from Boeing while the P-8I weaponry, radar, and related equipment will be procured via the U.S. Foreign Military Sales (FMS) programme, meaning it is a government-to-government deal.

P-8I Configuration

The P-8I is equipped with some of the most modern U.S. ASW technology including a Telephonics APS-143 Ocean Eye aft radar system and a cutting-edge magnetic anomaly detector. (The APS-143 is not present on the original P-8A Poseidon in use by the U.S. Navy.)

The aircraft, also used for anti-submarine warfare (ASW), also is armed with U.S. weapons systems including Harpoon Block-II missiles, MK-54 lightweight torpedoes, [and] rockets. The aircraft are all data-linked with Indian submarines in order to have the capability to pass on information about enemy vessels.

Notably, India chose not to purchase Mark 82 depth charges for P-8I aircraft ASW operations given the capabilities of the MK-54 torpedoes and Harpoon Block-II missiles.

The Indian Navy's first P-8I squadron was raised at Rajali in November 2015. The Indian Navy operates its entire fleet of eight P-8I maritime patrol aircraft from Rajali.

The eight aircraft were ordered for $2.1 billion in 2009 and delivered by 2015. In 2016, India placed a $1.1. billion follow-on order for four additional P-8Is with deliveries slated to begin in 2020.

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