The Cabinet Committee on Security (CCS), chaired by PM Narendra Modi, has approved the purchase of four additional Boeing P-8I Neptune aircraft estimated $1 billion (Rs 6,700 crore) for the Indian Navy.
The contract with be signed with Boeing this week and the aircraft are expected to be inducted into the Indian Navy over the next three years, The Nation reported.
The P-8I Neptune is an India variant of USA’s P-8A ‘Poseidon’ anti-submarine warfare (ASW) and maritime patrol aircraft. The Indian version replaced a lot of the US electronic systems with indigenous versions. They have a ferry range of about 2000 km from their base, where they can patrol the seas bellow for four hours, detecting and engaging enemy submarines before flying back to base.
In 2010, the Defence Ministry ordered eight aircraft at $2.1 billion. With all eight aircraft now in service, the Indian Navy is able to greatly project its power across the Indian Ocean.