The Indian Navy’s Boeing P-8I aircraft commenced operations from INS Hansa, Goa with two aircraft arriving on 30 December 2021. INS Hansa is an Indian naval air station located near Dabolim in Goa, India. The military air base has a civil enclave, that operates as Dabolim Airport. The aircraft were inducted after fitment of indigenous equipment and Flight Acceptance Trials. On arrival, the aircraft were welcomed by a MiG 29K formation. The Indian Navy had acquired the first batch of eight P-8I aircraft in 2013 that are stationed at INS Rajali, Arakkonam. The second batch of four additional aircraft will be based at Indian Naval Air Squadron 316, to be commissioned at INS Hansa.
In January 2008, Boeing proposed the P-8I, a customized export variant of the P-8A, for the Indian Navy. It features two major components not fitted on the P-8A, a Telephonics APS-143 OceanEye aft radar and a magnetic anomaly detector (MAD). On 4 January 2009, India’s Ministry of Defence signed a US$2.1 billion agreement with Boeing for eight P-8Is to replace the Indian Navy’s aging Tupolev Tu-142M maritime surveillance turboprops. It was Boeing’s first military sale to India and the P-8’s first international customer. In October 2010, India’s Defence Acquisition Council approved the purchase of four additional P-8Is; contract signature followed in July 2016 with deliveries expected to start from 2020.
The Bharat Electronics Limited (BEL) Data Link II communications allows the P-8I to exchange tactical data between Indian Navy aircraft, ships and shore establishments; it also features an integrated BEL-developed IFF system. India has purchased AGM-84L Harpoon Block II missiles and Mk 54 All-Up-Round Lightweight torpedoes for the P-8I. In July 2012, Boeing began P-8I flight testing. On 19 December 2012, the first P-8I was handed over at Boeing’s facility in Seattle. It was inducted into the Indian Navy on 15 May 2013. The type is based at INS Rajali, in Tamil Nadu. P-8Is participated in the 2017 Doklam Standoff between Indian Army and China’s People’s Liberation Army. Indian Navy P-8Is also monitored Pakistani Army units during the 2019 Pulwama standoff.
The Boeing P-8 Poseidon (formerly Multimission Maritime Aircraft) is an American maritime patrol aircraft developed and produced by Boeing Defense, Space & Security, modified from the 737-800ERX. The P-8 operates in the anti-submarine warfare (ASW), anti-surface warfare (ASUW), and shipping interdiction roles. It is armed with torpedoes, Harpoon anti-ship missiles, and other weapons, can drop and monitor sonobuoys, and can operate in conjunction with other assets, including the Northrop Grumman MQ-4C Triton maritime surveillance unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV). The P-8 is operated by the United States Navy, the Indian Navy, the Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF), and the UK’s Royal Air Force (RAF). It has also been ordered by the Royal Norwegian Air Force (RNoAF), the Royal New Zealand Air Force (RNZAF), the Republic of Korea Navy (ROKN), and the German Navy.