23:28 GMT24 January 2020
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    The Indian Navy has extended the Boeing support contract to three years in order to improve operational capability of its eight P-8I maritime patrol aircraft. The contract includes field and logistics service representatives, engineering, support and planning.

    NEW DELHI (Sputnik) — Apart from this, Boeing will also provide material support, including a 737-based component services program. The current initial production contract is scheduled to expire in October this year.

    "This contract will substantially bolster Boeing's performance-based support to the Indian Navy and should maintain or increase the operational capability of the eight-aircraft fleet," Stephen Schmidt, P-8I sustainment program manager, said.

    Currently, Indian Navy operates eight P-8I long-range maritime reconnaissance and anti-submarine warfare aircraft including one at the strategic location of the Andaman Island, which is very close to the Strait of Malacca. India's permanently deployed P8 maritime surveillance and attack aircraft in the Andaman & Nicobar Islands had intercepted a Yuan class conventional Chinese submarine in April this year which was deployed to check piracy. The Indian Navy will also receive four additional P-8I aircraft from 2020. The $ 1 billion contract was approved by the Narendra Modi government last year.

    India's apex government auditor, the Comptroller, and Auditor General, had lambasted the $2.2 billion deal of P-8I in 2012 for not following the country's offset policy under defense procurement policy. According to the report, Boeing did not provide those facilities which qualify to be declared as offsets under defense procurement rules.

    Indian P-8I maritime patrol aircraft, Boeing, Indian navy, India
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