Indian Navy has inducted its first squadron of Anti- Submarine Warfare Plane. On November 13, Indian Defense Minister Manohar Parrikar officially launched the squadron of Boeing P-81 Poseidon aircraft at Rajali Naval Air Station in Southern India.
The aircrafts were inducted in the newly raised unit- designated as Indian Naval Air Squadron 312-A. First of this type of aircraft was delivered in May 2013 and currently all eight ordered are operational in Indian Navy. By inducting this modern aircraft, Indian Navy is going to retire the aging fleet of five Russian Tu-142 Bear long-range maritime surveillance aircraft.
Prior to the official induction, P-81s went through an extensive trial and testing when successful firing of air launched Harpoon Block II missile, torpedo firing and participation in naval exercises.
By inducting this type of Anti- Submarine Warfare Planes, Indian Navy would be in a position to counter modern submarines of Pakistan Navy as well as of the Chinese Navy operating in and around Indian Ocean, Bay Of Bengal and Malacca Strait.
According to the press release of the Indian Navy, the P-8I aircraft “is equipped for long range anti-submarine warfare, anti -surface warfare, intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance in support of broad area, maritime and littoral operations. Its communication and sensor suite includes indigenous equipment (…)”
The P-8I is an export variant of the P-8A Poseidon, “designed for the needs of the Indian Navy. Notably, it features a Telephonics APS-143 Ocean Eye aft radar, and magnetic anomaly detector not present on the original P-8A.”
The aircraft is capable of flying 1,100 kilometers to a patrol area, remaining there for six hours, and then returning to base, with a total mission time of ten hours, according to The Business Standard.
In January 2009,India became the first international customer for the P-8I aircraft, designed and built by Boeing to replace the U.S. Navy’s aging P-3 fleet, with the signing of a $2.1 billion contract for the purchase of eight aircraft.
[Compiled By: Fakhrul Islam, Source: The Diplomat, Business Standard, PTI]