Navy flaunts new Boeing P-8I in maiden flight
By Express News Service | Published: 10th August 2013 09:53 AM |
The Indian Navy’s newly-acquired Boeing P-8I long range maritime reconnaissance plane has successfully carried out a long distance maiden flight when it flew out of Arakkonam in Tamil Nadu to Emerald Island in the Andaman and Nicobar islands.
The plane, with anti-submarine warfare capability, took off from the naval air base INS Rajali and landed at INS Utkrosh air field on Tuesday, a Navy officer said here.
“This is its maiden flight since its arrival in Arakkonam base in May this year,” the officer said.
Piloted by Squadron commander-designate Commander H S Jhajj, the aircraft with the call sign ‘IN 321’ was “welcomed” to the islands by tri-services Andaman and Nicobar Command Chief Air Marshal P K Roy, a helicopter pilot himself.
The P-8I is the first of the eight aircraft being procured by the Indian Navy under a contract signed with Boeing in January 2009 for `11,000 crore.
The P-8Is are based on the Boeing 737-800 platform and is the Indian Naval variant of the P8A Poseidon aircraft that Boeing has developed for the US Navy.
India is the first international customer of this aircraft, which is equipped with both foreign as well as indigenous sensors for maritime reconnaissance, anti-submarine operations and electronic intelligence missions, including the American Harpoon missiles.
The aircraft has state-of-the-art sensors and highly potent anti-surface and anti-submarine weapons.
The induction of these aircraft into the Indian Navy has provided a quantum leap to India’s maritime surveillance capability in the Indian Ocean region and enhanced the Navy’s strategic reach, as it can fly non-stop to reach the eastern or western end of the Indian Ocean within a short period.