Port Blair: India has started to deploy long-range naval patrol aircraft Poseidon-8I and spy drones at the forward military base in Andaman and Nicobar Islands as part of its strategy to counter China's move to regularly send its nuclear and conventional submarines to the Indian Ocean Region (IOR).
The Times of India quoted Defence Ministry sources as saying that two Poseidon-8I aircraft have been patrolling the maritime area in the strategically-located Andaman and Nicobar Islands for about two weeks now.
Navy and Air Force's Israeli Searcher-II unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) have also been deployed in the archipelago on a temporary basis.
The P-8I aircraft are especially designed to gather intelligence and detect threats.
The aircraft are armed with Harpoon Block-II missiles, MK-54 lightweight torpedoes, rockets and depth charges, the daily reported.