India took delivery of the tenth P-8 maritime surveillance aircraft, expanding the nation’s anti-submarine warfare capabilities, Boeing said on Tuesday.
“This is the second aircraft to be delivered under an option contract for four additional aircraft that the Indian Ministry of Defense awarded in 2016,” Boeing said in a press release.
Boeing supports India’s growing P-8I fleet by providing training of Indian Navy flight crews, spare parts, ground support equipment and field service representative support, the release said.
The support includes the construction of a training and maintenance center for Indian Navy crews, now nearing completion, to provide ground-based instruction as additional surveillance aircraft becomes available, the release added.
Earlier, as the EurAsian Times had reported, the US State Department had given its approval to a proposed plan to sell approximately $2.42 billion worth of P-8 patrol aircraft to the Indian government, according to an announcement by the Defense Security Cooperation Agency (DSCA).
“The State Department has made a determination approving a possible Foreign Military Sale to the Government of India of six (6) P-8I Patrol aircraft and related equipment for an estimated cost of $2.42 billion,” the DSCA has stated.
The sale includes GPS, anti-missile, and tactical radio systems among other related technologies intended for use with the aircraft.
The equipment is intended to help the US support its own foreign policy and national security objectives in the region in cooperation with India, which is a major US partner in the Indo-Pacific and South Asian regions.
Last year in April, two P-8 Poseidon aircraft, one from the United States and one from India, spent a day this week practicing anti-submarine warfare in the Indian Ocean, the US Navy said in a press release.
“The US Navy guided-missile destroyer USS Spruance (DDG 111) also joined the drills, which focused on anti-submarine warfare training, information sharing and coordination between maritime patrol aircraft and ships,” the release read.
The P-8 Poseidon is a multi-mission aircraft used primarily for maritime patrol and reconnaissance as well as for anti-submarine and anti-surface warfare, according to the US Navy. The aircraft can also carry torpedoes and cruise missiles.