Monday, June 15, 2009

US P8I aircraft at INS Rajali soon

US P8I aircraft at INS Rajali soon

14 June 2009, Express News Service

ARAKKONAM: The P8I Poseidon, a next generation maritime surveillance aircraft will soon be part of the INS Rajali, a premier naval air station located at Arakkonam in Tamil Nadu.
The world’s most technologically advanced aircraft of its type, assembled by the US aerospace major Boeing, is expected to be inducted with the Indian Navy in about one and half years.

With this, India would be the first country to use the P8I Poseidon, which combines superior performance and proven reliability with the world’s most advanced mission system.

The P8I, a customised version for the Indian Navy, is based on the hugely successful Boeing-737 commercial airliner. The navy had in November 2006 expressed an interest in the aircraft as a replacement for its existing fleet of Il-38 aircraft that are nearing the end of their service life.

The P8I Poseidon aircraft will also be armed with Harpoon missiles, torpedoes and depth bombs to give them potent anti-submarine and anti-surface warfare capability.

According to Rear Admiral Sudhir Pillai, NM, Flag Officer Naval Aviation (FONA), the aircraft is the part of 400 latest aircraft, which are to be added with the India Navy in the next 10 years.

“Moreover, in the forthcoming two plan periods our defence will have a tremendous growth in terms of technology,” he observed, while interacting with reporters at the passing out parade to mark the graduation of the 72nd Helicopter Conversion Course here on Saturday. When questioned about security measures in the wake of terrorism threats, he said, impetus has been given to the coastal security for which the Coast Guard and Navy are working together.

“On the other hand, the Officers Training Academy at Goa has been shifted to Ezhumalai in Kerala, where the officers are being trained,” he added.
On Saturday, seven pilots of the 72nd HCC attained their goal that they set out to achieve. The FONA awarded certificate of qualification and the coveted ‘Wings’ during the parade. The passing out pilots will move to new operational appointments at Mumbai, Vizag, Daman, Chennai and Kochi flights.

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