The U.S. State Department has cleared a possible $2.42 billion Foreign Military Sale (FMS) of six P-8I maritime patrol aircraft to India.
According to the U.S. Defense Security Cooperation Agency, the complete package includes 6 P-8I aircraft, 8 Multifunctional Information Distribution System-Joint Tactical Radio Systems 5 (MIDS-JTRS 5), 42 AN/AAR-54 Missile Warning Sensors, 14 LN-251 with Embedded Global Positioning Systems (GPS)/Inertial Navigations Systems (EGIs) and related equipment.
The announcements also say that the Indian Navy procured eight P-8I aircraft from Boeing in January 2009, via Direct Commercial Sale and contracted for an additional four aircraft in July 2016.
“The first P-8I aircraft were delivered to the Indian Navy in 2013, providing interoperability and critical capabilities to coalition maritime operations,” DSCA said in its announcement. “This proposed sale of an additional six P-8I aircraft will allow the Indian Navy to expand its maritime surveillance aircraft (MSA) capability for the next 30 years. India will have no difficulty absorbing these aircraft into its armed forces.”
The prime contractor will be The Boeing Company, Seattle, WA.
Boeing says the patrol aircraft plays a crucial role in being the eyes of the Indian Navy and carrying out critical maritime operations. They provide India’s maritime warriors a significant edge in the strategically important Indian Ocean region.
As noted by the company, an aircraft designed for long-range anti-submarine warfare (ASW), anti-surface warfare (ASuW), and intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance (ISR) missions; the P-8 delivers highest levels of quality, reliability, and operability. A true multi-mission aircraft, it is defined by a unique combination of state of the art sensors, proven weapons systems, and a globally recognized platform.