Giving a big challenge to China, the Indian government has decided to buy P-81 aircraft from US for Indian Navy. India has started the process to acquire six more long-range Poseidon-8I (P-8I) aircraft. The total volume of the deal is US dollar 1.8 billion. The P-81 is built by US-based aerospace company Boeing.
, India at present has eight of the P-8I aircraft. These are used for surveillance missions over the Indian Ocean.The P-8I aircraft are also being used in the eastern Ladakh sector for surveillance of Chinese activities amid ongoing tensions at the Line of Actual Control (LAC).
The Indian Navy had first ordered eight of these aircraft in 2009 at a price of US dollar 2.1 billion. Later in July 2016, a US dollar 1.1 billion deal was inked for four more of these planes. The delivery of the same is set to begin by December later this year.
The P-8I aircraft are packed with radars and electro-optic sensors besides being armed with Harpoon Block-II missiles and the MK-54 lightweight torpedoes.