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India to induct 4 P-8I aircraft; will buy 6 more to strengthen sea border: Report

Prashasti Awasthi Mumbai | Updated on July 21, 2020 Published on July 21, 2020

To counter China’s moves in the South China Sea

India is looking to strengthen its marine capabilities by inducting four more P-8I multi-mission aircraft from the US in 2021, Hindustan Times reported.

India may also buy six more long-range anti-submarine aircraft from Boeing in 2021, people familiar with the developments in New Delhi, and Seattle said to HT.

The Indian Navy variant of the P-8A Poseidon — P-8I where I stand for India — particularly caters to maritime patrolling.

The aircraft has Harpoon Block II air-launched missiles and lightweight torpedoes. It can carry 129 sonobuoys to locate subs — turns into a submarine destroyer that can also launch anti-ship missiles.

The aircraft is designed in such a way that it can share real-time operational intelligence with other P-8 aircraft.

It has a range of about 2,200 km and flies at a maximum speed of 490 knots, or 789 km per hour.

The deal comes as China is expands its footprint in the South China Sea. Beijing is already creating pressure on India by buying part of ports in Myanmar, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Iran, and Africa.

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Published on July 21, 2020
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