The US Defense Security Cooperation Agency (DSCA) has notified Congress of a possible foreign military sales (FMS) of six P-8I Patrol aircraft to India.
Approved by the US State Department, the total estimated cost of the FMS and associated equipment is $2.42bn.
The P-8I is a long-range, multi-mission maritime patrol aircraft offered by Boeing for the Indian Navy. It replaced the ageing fleet of the Indian Navy’s Tupolev Tu-142 aircraft.
The P-8I aircraft is a variant of the P-8A Poseidon multi-mission maritime aircraft (MMA) operated by the US Navy.
It can conduct anti-submarine warfare (ASW), anti-surface warfare (AsuW), intelligence, maritime patrol, and surveillance and reconnaissance missions.
The sale package will also include up to eight MIDS-JTRS 5, 42 AN/AAR-54 Missile Warning Sensors, and 14 LN-251 with Embedded Global Positioning Systems (GPS)/Inertial Navigations Systems (EGIs).
CFM56-7 commercial engines, Tactical Open Mission Software (ITOMS) variant for P-8I, Electro-Optical (EO) and Infrared (IR) MX-20HD; AN/AAQ-2(V)l acoustic system; ARES-1000 commercial variant electronic support measures; AN/APR-39D radar warning receiver, as well as AN/ALE-47 counter measures dispensing system are included.
Furthermore, services such as US government and contractor engineering, technical, as well as other associated elements of logistical and programme support were also requested by India.
DSCA said in a statement: “This proposed sale will support the foreign policy and national security of the United States by helping to strengthen the US-Indian strategic relationship and to improve the security of a major defensive partner, which continues to be an important force for political stability, peace, and economic progress in the Indo-Pacific and South Asia region.”
Boeing will serve as the prime contractor for the sale.
In January 2009, Boeing was selected by the Indian Government to supply eight P-8I maritime reconnaissance aircraft to the Indian Navy.
The contract also includes an option for four P-8I aircraft. The Indian Navy is the first export customer for the aircraft.
India’s Cabinet Committee on Security (CCS) approved the acquisition of four additional Boeing P-8I aircraft in mid-2016.