Amid border with China, India has begun the acquisition process for US-made 6 Poseidon-8I naval jets and has also put process of procuring 6 Predator-B armed drones on full throttle. Previously, Indian Navy's Poseidon 8I anti-submarine warfare aircraft were deployed to carry out surveillance on the movement of Chinese troops during the 73-day-long standoff between India and China in mountainous Doklam.
India begins acquisition process for Poseidon-8I naval jets | What we know
- Poseidon-8I naval jets are patrol planes used by the Indian naval force to guard the country's border.
- Poseidon-8I naval jets are packed with radars, electro-optic sensors, Harpoon Block-II missiles and MK-54 lightweight torpedoes.
- These naval jets are used during surveillance missions over the Indian Ocean and Eastern Ladakh.
- The Indian navy for the first time in 2009 had inducted 8 Poseidon-8I jets at a cost of $2.1 billion.
- The Navy is going to induct 4 more P-8Is by December this year as per the deal done in 2016 worth $1.1 billion.
- According to some defence sources, a letter of request for acquiring 6 more P-8Is to the US for government-to-government deal has been sent. And it is expected that the US will issue a 'letter of acceptance', The Times of India quoted them saying.
- Sources say the deal will be sealed by early 2021.
Earlier, the P-8I aircraft of Indian Navy was deployed in Doklam (during the face-off). Troops of India and China were locked in a standoff in Doklam from June 16, 2017 after the Indian side stopped the building of a road in the disputed area by the Chinese Army. The face-off triggered fears of a war between the two neighbours. The standoff ended on August 28, 2017 after over 10 rounds of talks between diplomats of the two sides.
The P-8Is were also deployed to keep an eye on the movement of Pakistani troops after the Pulwama terror attack last year. These aircraft are the most potent platform to carry out surveillance -- be it sea or mountains.