A United States Navy (USN) P-8A Poseidon long range maritime reconnaissance aircraft, with a crew of 21 US Navy officials, participated in anti-submarine warfare exercises at INS Hansa. The Indian Navy’s P-8i aircraft also participated in the joint drills which concluded on Thursday.
The P-8A Poseidon arrived on its maiden visit to INS Hansa on October 22 for the two day exercise. The United States Naval Attaché to India Captain Ray Owens and detachment commander Commander Micheal Bulkot met Flag Officer Commanding Goa Area (FOGA) Rear Admiral Philipose Pynumootil during the visit of the US crew to Goa.
The US naval detachment comprised 21 members including two women technicians. Both the P-8l and P-8A maritime reconnaissance aircraft have been manufactured by Boeing based on the Boeing 737 commercial aircraft. The maritime aircraft have a range of 8300 kilometers and speed in excess of 900 kmph. “The Indian Navy had procured eight Boeing P-8i aircraft concurrent with United Navy’s induction of P-8A aircraft. Indian Navy is also inducting four more of these aircraft commencing 2020,” a naval officer said.
People’s Liberation Army-Navy (PLAN) has repeatedly deployed submarines in the Indian Ocean and the gulf of Aden, in support of its anti-piracy operations. The Indian Navy has been keeping a close watch on the presence of the Chinese naval submarines. The P-8i aircraft are crucial for the Indian Navy to monitor the presence of submarines in the neighboring waters. Source: The Times of India