The Indian Navy has commissioned INAS 316, the second long-range maritime reconnaissance (LRMR) air squadron.

The commissioning took place in the presence of chief of naval staff (CNS) admiral R Hari Kumar at INS Hansa in Goa.

The INAS 316 will operate the second batch of four P-8I maritime patrol aircraft fleet.

The four P-8I aircraft will be deployed to detect, deter, and destroy threats in the Indian Ocean region (IOR).

The Indian Navy has nicknamed INAS 316 after the largest flying land bird ‘The Condors’.

An Indian Navy spokesperson tweeted: “Will operate the second batch of four P8I aircraft, adding teeth to the armour of the Indian Navy, to Deter, Detect and Destroy any threat to the nation in the IOR.”

“Operating from INSHansa since 30 Dec 2021, the squadron has been specifically commissioned to be home for the four new P-8I aircraft & to ‘Deter, Detect & Destroy’ any threat in IOR. Commanded by Cdr Amit Mohapatra the squadron is integrated with full-spectrum surface and subsurface naval ops [opportunities].”

CNS Hari Kumar said: “Commissioning of INAS316, marks yet another important step towards enhancing our combat capability. In today’s dynamic and complex security situation, the Squadron’s ops capabilities will significantly enhance our ability to protect, preserve and promote India’s maritime interests.”

Boeing delivered the 12th and the last of four additional P-8I aircraft to the Indian Navy on 19 February this year.

Being a multi-mission aircraft, the P-8I can carry out a wide range of operations, including anti-submarine warfare, anti-surface warfare, search and rescue and intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance.

The P-8I aircraft replaced the Indian Navy’s ageing fleet of Tupolev Tu-142 aircraft.