During a visit to Mumbai, Defense Minister Rajnath Singh underwent a voyage of Indian Navy P-8I long-range maritime recovery and anti-submarine warplanes, a Navy spokesman said on Wednesday.
The defense minister launched the voyage just hours after launching two Indian Navy frontline warships at the Mazagan Docks Limited (MDL) in Mumbai on Tuesday.
“The P8I ship is conducted by eyewitness, young and dynamic men and women, naval air operations. With the experience of Long Range Maritime Surveillance and ASW capabilities, I am confident that our maritime interests are in the safe hands of a ready, credible and integrated #IndianNavy for a war, ”Singh tweeted on Wednesday.
Indian Navy spokesman Commander Vivek Madhawal said the flight crew consisted of seven naval-air operations officers, including two pilots and three female officers.
During the mission, search and rescue capabilities were demonstrated by deploying long-range surveillance, electronic warfare, image intelligence, anti-submarine combat missions and state-of-the-art mission suits and sensors, he said.
The P-8I aircraft has proven to be an important asset to the Navy with its superior maritime surveillance and reconnaissance capabilities and operational readiness.
Commander Madhawal said that the incorporation of P8I aircraft since 2013 has significantly improved the Indian Navy’s “continuous surveillance activities in the Indian Ocean Territory (IOR)”. The P-8I is powered by twin jet engines and can be equipped with air-to-ship missiles and torpedoes.
The Indian Navy was the first international customer of the P-8 aircraft, produced by U.S. space chief Boeing.
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.