US delivers 5th P-81 maritime patrol aircraft to India

The US has delivered the fifth P-8I maritime patrol aircraft to India on Tuesday as part of an eight aircraft contract worth over Rs 12,000 crore in 2009.

PTI| Last Updated: Sep 12, 2014, 00:50 AM IST

New Delhi: The US has delivered the fifth P-8I maritime patrol aircraft to India on Tuesday as part of an eight aircraft contract worth over Rs 12,000 crore in 2009.

The aircraft was received by the Air Force at Naval Air Station Rajali in Tamil Nadu, where the Navy has deployed its long-range anti-submarine warfare aircraft, Navy officials said.

"The P-8I program is progressing on schedule, and the aircraft are providing the capabilities to meet our maritime reconnaissance and anti-submarine warfare requirements," Navy's Deputy Chief Vice Admiral RK Pattanaik said at a function to receive the aircraft at Rajali.

The US Navy also operates similar aircraft which are named P-8A Poseidon and India was its first international customer.

The Indian Navy is planning to place orders for four more P-8Is but the negotiations have slowed down in the recent past with the maritime force awaiting for the completion of delivery of all eight aircraft before finalising the contract.

The Indian Navy is now planning to procure eight more medium-range surveillance aircraft to plug gaps in its maritime zone.