New Delhi: Indian Navy on Wednesday received its ninth P-8I long-range maritime reconnaissance and anti-submarine warfare aircraft ordered from the US. India had signed a contract for eight such aircraft in 2009, is also negotiating a deal for six more P-8Is with the US under the government-to-government route.
The ninth aircraft was scheduled to be handed over to the Indian Navy in July this year, the Covid pandemic delayed the plans. The remaining three are scheduled to be handed over to India in 2021. India had become the first international customer for the P-8 aircraft with the conclusion of the nearly $2.1 billion contracts on 1 January 2009 for a total of eight aircraft. India is also the second-biggest operator of aircraft in the world. The P-8I is equipped for long-range anti-submarine warfare, anti-surface warfare, intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance in support of broad area, maritime and littoral operations.