Indian Navy’s sea hawk P-8I Poseidon protects the nation
In recent months, there’s been an increase in the Chinese navy’s forays into the Indian Ocean Region (IOR).
The Indian Navy (IN) has regularly deployed its advanced long-range maritime patrol aircraft, the US-made Boeing P-8I Poseidon, to track their movement.
The IN has eight P-8I planes, capable of mounting anti-submarine warfare (ASW), anti-surface warfare (AsuW), intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance missions.
Here’s all about them.
How India procured the P-8I
In 2009, the Indian government approved the acquisition of eight P-8I aircraft for the IN for $2.1 billion.
The P-8I is an export variant of the US military’s P-8A aircraft.
The IN received all eight P-8I warplanes from 2012 to 2015.
In 2016, India placed an order for four additional P-8I for $1 billion.
P-8I equipped with advanced radars, surveillance systems
The P-8I warplane is based on Boeing’s 737-800 passenger aircraft.
The plane is manned by nine crew-members and is equipped with a CAE AN/ASQ-508A magnetic anomaly detection (MAD) system and the Raytheon APY-10 surveillance radar, used to gather data during all-weather, day and night missions.
The aircraft also features the India-made BEL Data Link II communications system to communicate with other IN assets.
P-8I conducts surveillance over vast open oceans
The warplane can reach a maximum speed of 907 kmph and has an operating range of more than 1,200 nautical miles.
This allows the IN to track and neutralize enemy targets far from Indian shores. Its range can be extended through in-flight refueling.
The APY-10 radars can detect and track targets, including submarine periscopes, several hundreds of kilometers away.
Warplane can fire torpedoes, depth charges, anti-ship missiles
The P-8I warplanes feature an internal weapons bay which houses Mark-54 torpedoes, Mark 82 depth charges and free-fall bombs.
It also features hard-points under its wing which can be used to fire air-to-surface and anti-ship missiles.
In 2010, India placed an order for the AGM-84L Harpoon Block II anti-ship missiles to be launched by the P-8I.
The warplane can communicate with all Indian submarines.
P-8I is among the navy’s most powerful weapons
The IN has used the P-8I to keep a sharp eye on its maritime frontiers, particularly as the
Chinese navy increases its presence in the IOR. The warplane’s versatile multi-mission capabilities make it among the IN’s five most powerful weapons that keep India safe.