Indian Navy to acquire 6 more P-8I maritime aircraft

The defence ministry on Thursday approved the procurement of 6 Boeing P8I maritime patrol aircraft, indigenous development of airborne warning and control systems (AWACS) aircraft and other military platforms at a cost of $3.1-billion.

Indian Navy to acquire 6 more P 8I maritime aircraft 925 001 A Boeing P-8I maritime patrol aircraft of the Indian Navy in flight (Picture source: Indian Navy)

India will be celebrating Navy Day 2019 on Wednesday, December 4, for which the Indian Navy is improving their skills. While the Indian Navy personnel will demonstrate exceptional skills during Naval Day celebrations, the existing fleet of Indian Navy aircraft was expanded to include more P-8Is.

Indeed, the Indian Ministry of Defence (MoD) approved the procurement of 6 additional Boeing P-8I for the Indian Navy. With the latest order, the total number of P-8Is in the Indian Navy reaches 18, which is a clear indication that the Indian government is pleased with Boeing's long-ranger. Since induction in 2015, the P-8I maritime patrol fleet has surpassed 25,000 flight hours for the Indian Navy.

The P-8 is long-range anti-submarine warfare, anti-surface warfare, intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance aircraft capable of broad-area, maritime and littoral operations. In addition, the P-8 performs humanitarian and search and rescue missions around the globe.

While there's no indication of Indian Navy expanding the P-8I fleet further, Boeing makes a clever proposal ahead of Navy Day. In a tweet on Monday, Boeing India recommended the Indian Navy to expand the fleet with F/A-18 Super Hornet. Boeing suggests the fighter jets can work with the P-8Is in the future battlespace.

The combat-proven Super Hornet delivers cutting-edge, next-generation multi-role strike fighter capability, outdistancing current and emerging threats well into the future. The Super Hornet has the capability, flexibility and performance necessary to modernize the air or naval aviation forces of any country. Two versions of the Super Hornet – the single-seat E model and the two-seat F model – are able to perform virtually every mission in the tactical spectrum, including air superiority, day/night strike with precision-guided weapons, fighter escort, close air support, suppression of enemy air defenses, maritime strike, reconnaissance, forward air control and tanker missions.