The second squadron of Boeing P-8I aircraft will help enhance the reach of the Navy's surveillance
Giving a boost to the surveillance capabilities of the Indian Navy, the second squadron of Boeing P-8I patrol and reconnaissance aircraft commenced operations from INS Hansa, Goa. The two aircraft, which arrived on December 30, 2021, were inducted after the fitment of indigenous equipment and Flight Acceptance Trials. The aircraft were welcomed upon arrival by a MiG 29K formation. With two more aircraft expected, the squadron stationed in Goa will be the Navy's eyes in the Indian Ocean and Arabian sea.
Aircraft have been crucial in surveillance operations
The Boeing P-8I were deployed previously during the Ladakh standoff with China to gather more information about Chinese activities. The Indian Navy had first acquired the first squadron of eight such aircraft in 2013. These are stationed at INS Rajali, Arakkonam. The second batch of four additional aircraft will be based at Indian Naval Air Squadron 316, to be commissioned at INS Hansa.
The Eyes of the Navy
According to Boeing, the company that manufactures these aircraft, they serve an essential role in enhancing the surveillance reach of the Indian Navy and conducting various critical maritime operations. This gives the forces a very significant edge in strategic regions. Since commencing operations in 2013, the original fleet has already surpassed 29,000 flight-hours.