India took delivery of the tenth P-8 maritime surveillance aircraft, expanding the nation’s anti-submarine warfare capabilities, Boeing said on Tuesday.
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“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.
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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.
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“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.