To tackle nuclear and conventional submarines from China that regularly enter India’s Indian Ocean Region (IOR), Indian naval forces have begun to deploy its new long-range maritime patrol aircraft and spy drones.
Economic Times Poseidon-8I aircraft
Talking about induction of these P-8I aircraft, an official at the Defence ministry told an Indian newspaper that naval Poseidon-8I aircraft are just about to complete their first-ever two-week deployment at Andaman and Nicobar archipelago.
The official added that “Navy and IAF are also deploying their (Israeli) Searcher-II unmanned aerial vehicles to the islands on a temporary basis.”
Naval Drones Searcher-II Drone
India, as of January 2009, has inducted eight P-8I aircraft across various parts of India. To get these P-8I aircraft, India paid $2.1 billion to the US aviation major Boeing .
GLOBAL MILITARY REVIEW P-8I aircraft
These P-8I aircraft are especially designed to gather intelligence and has an operating range of over 1,200 nautical miles. The maximum speed of these P-8Is is 907kmph and its packed with radars that also detect threats in the IOR as “intelligent hawk-eyes”.
The P-8Is are armed with deadly Harpoon Block-II missiles and also has MK-54 lightweight torpedoes, rockets and depth charges to neutralize any enemy submarines and warships in its path.
Sameer Vijay Kumar Indian Air Base INS Utkrosh
Sameer Vijay Kumar A fleet under ANC
Even with ANC becoming Modi government’s top priority, there is still much more that needs to be done and that too at a faster pace so as to ensure that ANC can effectively act as a pivot to counter China’s strategic moves in IOR and also ensure security of sea lanes converging towards the Malacca Strait.
As of now there is a huge military crunch in the areas as there is not only a turf war going on among Army, Navy and IAF, but there is also a huge crunch for funding.
The island city needs extended airfields with even its major base in Port Blair and Car Nicobar in need of some serious upgrade.