The Indian Navy has taken delivery of its 11th long-range maritime reconnaissance anti-submarine warfare P-8I aircraft from Boeing.
This is the third aircraft to be delivered under an option contract for four additional aircraft that the Indian Ministry of Defence awarded in 2016. The Indian Navy was the first international customer for the P-8 and today operates the largest non-US fleet. The P-8 is also operated by the US Navy, the Royal Australian Air Force and the United Kingdom’s Royal Air Force.
Delivery of the 11th airframe comes just three months after the milestone 10th P-8I was delivered to India in July this year.
The patrol aircraft is an integral part of the Indian Navy’s fleet and has surpassed 30,000 flight hours since it was inducted in 2013.
In addition to maritime reconnaissance and anti-submarine warfare capabilities, the P-8I has been deployed to assist during disaster relief and humanitarian missions.
In addition to 12 aircraft on order, India is also mulling a purchase of another six P-8Is for an estimated cost of $2.42 billion, according to a US State Department sale approval from May this year.
The company tweet below indicates that India operates the second-largest P-8 fleet in the world, after the US Navy. However, as it currently stands, Australia is the second-largest operator of the aircraft with 14 airframes on order.