The Indian Ministry of Defence (MoD) has approved the procurement of a training solution for the Indian Navy’s P-8I aircraft for a sum of Rs19.49bn ($307.82m).
The new training solution will be acquired from Boeing, accompanied by a ten-year comprehensive maintenance service agreement.
It will represent the third global P-8I reconnaissance aircraft training facility to be developed by the company at the Indian naval air base INS Rajali in Tamil Nadu, reported Livemint.
Indian Navy spokesman captain D K Sharma was quoted by Jane’s as saying: “This [simulator] will help train the Indian Navy personnel at low cost, saving precious machine hours on P-8Is, which will consequently be available for more frequent deployment.”
The training solution will be able to precisely simulate P-8I aircraft and mission systems, in addition to enabling the Indian Navy to train and realistically rehearse for sophisticated missions involving the fighter jet.
Boeing’s P-8I aircraft is capable of carrying out long-range anti-submarine warfare and anti-surface warfare missions, as well as intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance in support of broad area, maritime and littoral operations.
The aircraft’s communications and sensor suite includes locally built equipment developed by defence public sector undertakings (PSUs) and private producers.
The first P-8I jet was originally inducted into service with the Indian Navy in 2013.
A total of eight aircraft based at INS Rajali have been fully integrated into the navy’s operations to date.
The MoD awarded a follow-on order to Boeing for four additional P-8I aircraft in 2016.
Delivery of the aircraft is currently slated to begin in 2020.
The procurement of the P-8I training solution forms part of the MoD’s Rs24.19bn ($382.05m) deal, which also includes the acquisition of a low-intensity conflict electronic warfare system (LICEWS) from Bharat Electronics for use by the Indian Army.