Second Squadron Of Long Range Maritime Patrol Aircraft To Be Commissioned Today

Second Squadron Of Long Range Maritime Patrol Aircraft To Be Commissioned Today

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Second Squadron Of Long Range Maritime Patrol Aircraft To Be Commissioned Today

The P-8I aircraft is powered by twin jet engines and can be equipped with air-to-ship missiles

The Navy had acquired the first batch of eight P-8I aircraft in 2013 that are stationed at INS Rajali in Arakkonam in Tamil Nadu. The Long Range Maritime Patrol aircrafts form part of INAS 312 Squadron. By now the squadron has logged over 35000 hours of flawless patrolling.

The Navy will commission on Tuesday its second long-range maritime reconnaissance air squadron comprising a fleet of P-8I aircraft to add muscle to its surveillance power in the Indian Ocean Region. The air squadron 316 will be commissioned at the INS Hansa, a naval air station near Dabolim in Goa, in the presence of Chief of Naval Staff R Hari Kumar.

The Indian Navy Air Squadron (INAS) 316 will operate the Boeing P-8I multi-role long-range maritime reconnaissance and anti-submarine warfare aircraft. INAS 316 has been christened ‘The Condors’ after one of the largest flying birds in the world. The insignia of the squadron depicts a Condor searching over the blue expanse of the sea.

The INAS 316 will operate the second batch of four additional P-8I aircraft, adding teeth to the armour of the Indian Navy, to deter, detect and destroy any threat to the nation in the Indian Ocean Region. Four more aircrafts are like to join in the foreseeable future.

The new squadron is being raised amid growing concerns over China’s increasing forays into the Indian Ocean Region, considered the backyard of the Indian Navy. The P-8I aircraft is powered by twin jet engines and can be equipped with air-to-ship missiles and torpedoes.

The fleet is being operated by the Indian Navy primarily to carry out surveillance in the Indian Ocean region. The aircraft, with its superior maritime surveillance and reconnaissance capabilities and operational readiness, has proven to be an important asset to the Navy.

The Indian Navy was the first international customer for the P-8 aircraft.The aircraft is also operated by the US Navy, the Royal Australian Air Force, the United Kingdom’s Royal Air Force and the Royal Norwegian Air Force.

The Navy should consider commissioning a third such squadron to operate from somewhere in Gujarat.