The Indian Navy has taken delivery of its tenth P-8I Poseidon maritime patrol aircraft, US aerospace giant Boeing announced on July 13.
The aircraft will further boost the service’s long-range maritime reconnaissance anti-submarine warfare capabilities. The Indian Navy has already surpassed 30,000 flight hours on the type since it was inducted in 2013.
This is the second aircraft to be delivered under an option contract for four additional aircraft that the Indian defense ministry awarded in 2016. Additionally, the country requested to potentially buy up to six more P-8Is for an estimated cost of $2.42 billion, according to a US State department clearance for the sale from May this year.
The Indian Navy was the first international customer for the P-8, which is also operated by the US Navy, the Royal Australian Air Force and the United Kingdom’s Royal Air Force. Future Poseidon operators will include New Zealand, South Korea and Norway.
In addition to providing the aircraft, Boeing is currently also completing construction on the training support & data handling center at INS Rajali, Arakkonam, Tamil Nadu and a secondary maintenance training center at the Naval Institute of Aeronautical Technology, Kochi, Kerala as part of a training and support package contract signed in 2019.