US aerospace major Boeing on Thursday said it has delivered the 12th Poseidon-8I maritime patrol aircraft to India.
The fleet is being operated by the Indian Navy primarily to carry out surveillance in the Indian Ocean region.
Boeing said the aircraft delivered on Wednesday was the fourth of the four additional aircraft contract for which was signed in 2016.
“With this delivery of the P-8I maritime patrol aircraft, we continue to nurture this partnership and are fully committed to working closely with India’s defence forces to deliver the right value and capabilities to meet their operational needs,” said Surendra Ahuja, managing director of Boeing Defence India.
The P-8I is an integral part of the Indian Navy’s fleet and has surpassed 35,000 flight hours since it was inducted in 2013.
The aircraft, with its superior maritime surveillance and reconnaissance capabilities and operational readiness, has proven to be an important asset to the Navy.
The Indian Navy was the first international customer for the P-8 aircraft.
The aircraft is also operated by the US Navy, the Royal Australian Air Force, the UK’s Royal Air Force and the Royal Norwegian Air Force.
The Boeing said it remained committed in its efforts to further the ‘Aatmanirbhar’ vision for manufacture, sustainment and support of the Indian Navy’s P-8I fleet.
“Boeing Defence India (BDI), Boeing’s local entity in India, supports India’s growing P-8I fleet by providing training to Indian Navy flight crews, spare parts, ground support equipment and field-service representative support,” the company said in a statement.
“Boeing’s integrated logistics support has enabled a high state of fleet readiness at the lowest possible cost,” it said.
Boeing said it is also completing construction on the training support and data handling centre at INS Rajali in Tamil Nadu, and a secondary center at the Naval Institute of Aeronautical Technology in Kochi.
“The indigenous, ground-based training will allow the Indian Navy crew to increase mission proficiency in a shorter time while reducing the on-aircraft training time resulting in increased aircraft availability for mission tasking,” it said.