14:41 GMT24 September 2020
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    The Indian Navy currently operates eight Boeing P-8I aircraft. Boeing is expected to start delivering four more P-8I starting 2020 as part of a follow-on order placed in 2016 by the Indian Navy.

    New Delhi (Sputnik) — Boeing will soon be setting up a maritime reconnaissance aircraft training suite in India, with the country's defense ministry approving the purchase of the Boeing's P-8I Training Solution at the cost of $304 million. The contract would include setting up of the simulator module at the Indian Naval Station Rajali at Arakkonam in Tamil Nadu, along with a 10-year maintenance service agreement.

    The system uses simulators to train pilots and mission crews to operate the aircraft, its sensors, communications and weapons systems without relying on costly live flights.

     "This training solution accurately simulates P-8I aircraft and mission systems. It will help Indian Navy train and realistically rehearse for sophisticated missions involving P-8I aircraft, at a fraction of the cost of live aircraft training," India's Ministry of Defense said in a statement.

    The decision comes in concurrence with India's increased emphasis on war readiness — a policy decision mainly prompted by the recent escalation in Chinese maritime activities in the Indian Ocean region.

    At present, eight P-8I aircraft based at INS Rajali, are fully operational in the Indian Navy. The Indian Navy has also deployed P-8I, which is equipped for long-range anti-submarine warfare, anti-surface warfare, intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance at the Andaman base, near the Strait of Malacca, which keeps a constant tab on the movement of Chinese submarines in the Indian Ocean. Its communication and sensor suite includes indigenous equipment developed by India's state-owned defense firms and private manufacturers. In 2016, the Indian defense ministry placed a follow-on order for an additional four P-8I vessels, the delivery of which will begin in 2020.

    The US Navy also uses a ground-based P-8 training system to complete up to 70 percent of required training. Only 30 percent of P-3 Orion training occurs on the ground, according to Boeing.


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    anti-surface warfare, maritime security, surveillance, Indian Navy, Boeing, India, Indian Ocean
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