Why in News:
- The Union Defence during his visit to Mumbai undertook a sortie on an Navy P-8I maritime patrol aircraft.
About P-8I aircraft
- P-8 is a long-range, multimission maritime patrol aircraft offered by Boeing. The P-8I aircraft is a variant of the P-8A Poseidon multimission maritime aircraft (MMA) operated by the US Navy.
- The P-8 is designed to conduct long-range anti-submarine warfare, anti-surface warfare, and intelligence, surveillance, maritime patrol and reconnaissance missions.
- It has a bomb bay that can drop sonobuoys and torpedoes, as well as hard points on its wings for anti-ship missiles.
- The Indian navy has also used the aircraft to conduct search and rescue missions, including dropping survival kits and inflatable life rafts from the jet.
- India’s position between the Arabian Sea, Indian Ocean and Bay of Bengal makes it a strategically important player in tracking the movements of submarines and ships, in particular those of China.
- The country also sits alongside vital shipping lanes between the Middle East and East Asia.
- The induction of P8I aircraft commencing 2013, have significantly enhanced Indian Navy’s persistent surveillance operations in the Indian Ocean Region (IOR).
- The P8I’s state-of-the-art sensors like multi-mode radars, electronic intelligence system, sonobuoys, Electro-Optic, Infra Red (EO/IR) camera and advanced weapons like Harpoon Anti-shipping Missile and Mk54 torpedo, provide the Navy with a very potent platform with significant capability to deter and destroy.
- These aircraft have been utilised along the International Border, Line of Control (LoC) and Line of Actual Control (LAC) to keep an eye on adversaries’ movement