Goa: The Indian Navy quietly took delivery of its ninth Boeing P-8I long-range maritime patrol aircraft at INS Hansa on Wednesday. The aircraft, which took off from Seattle on November 14, stopped at Hawaii and Guam before landing at Goa.The aircraft landed around 11am and was handed over by Boeing officials to the Navy,said a naval official. The Navy remains tight lipped about the P-8I’s near-term deployment.At a time when China makes greater forays into neighbouring waters, the aircraft, the first of four additional aircrafts purchased by the ministry of defence under the options clause, will give the Navy longer reach over the Indian Ocean region.
The Indian Navy procured eight Boeing-manufactured P-8I aircrafts in a $2.1 billion deal inked in January 2009. Then, in July 2016 it placed an order for four more aircrafts for $1.1 billion.While the four new P-8Is are to be based at INS Hansa, some aircraft are likely to be deployed along the eastern seaboard. The Indian Navy has deployed the earlier eight at INS Rajali in Arakkonam (Tamil Nadu) but some of the P-8Is have been forward deployed in view of the confrontation with China.
The News24 Goa