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Air Warfare

India belatedly receives ninth Neptune

19th November 2020 - 12:05 GMT | by The Shephard News Team

​Delivery was delayed by four months due to COVID-19

The Indian Navy on 17 November received its ninth P-8I Neptune long-range maritime reconnaissance and ASW aircraft.

This aircraft was scheduled to be handed over to the Indian Navy in July, but delivery was delayed because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

India has three other P-8Is on order from manufacturer Boeing. These aircraft will be handed over in 2021. In June 2019, according to Shephard Defence Insight, the US cleared the potential sale of ten more P-8Is for INR22,500 crore ($3.2 billion).

Since the first aircraft entered service with the Indian Navy in 2013, the P-8I fleet has clocked up more than 25,000 flight hours, according to Boeing. The aircraft are currently employed on surveillance missions over the Ladakh region, which is the scene of continuing military tension between China and India.

Support from Boeing for the P-8I fleet, as part of a deal signed in 2019, includes construction of a Training Support and Data Handling Centre at INS Rajali in Tamil Nadu, plus a secondary centre at the Naval Institute of Aeronautical Technology in Kochi. 

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