PUBLISHED: 19 December 2012
The first of the eight long-range maritime reconnaissance and anti-submarine warfare aircraft Boeing P-8I was delivered to the Indian Navy in the US. The navy will fly three of these to India next year.
The P-8Is are the most sophisticated aircraft to be inducted into the navy to date, and have been delivered on time - unlike the other systems India is procuring from overseas including the aircraft carrier Admiral Gorshkov, which has been delayed by several years.
India, one of the first countries to select this new aircraft, ordered eight P-8Is in January 2009 for $2.1 billion (Rs 11,524 crore).
The delivery schedule has been maintained as the induction will take place by 2013 as planned.
The P-8Is are based on Boeing's Next General 737-800 commercial airliner, which has been modified for the maritime surveillance role.
The navy currently has Tu-142 long-range maritime surveillance aircraft which date from the Soviet era. Flying these planes is no longer feasible, as technology has moved ahead by several generations.