NWI - Naval Warfare

India opens Naval Air Enclave

11th October 2016 - 08:30 GMT | by The Shephard News Team

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A new Naval Air Enclave (NAE) has been opened at Cochin International Airport (CIAL), India, the national Ministry of Defence announced on 5 October.

The NAE will facilitate the operations of India's P-8I Neptune aircraft from CIAL to enhance surveillance of the area around the western coast and the Minicoy and Lakshadweep islands. The enclave will be used to operate and house aircraft which cannot be operated from INS Garuda, an Indian naval air station located near Kochi, due to inadequate runway length.

The Indian Navy acquired eight P-8I aircraft under a contract signed in 2009. The aircraft is a customised variant of the Boeing P-8 Poseidon, designed for anti-submarine warfare, anti-surface warfare, shipping interdiction and electronic signals intelligence roles.

The Indian Navy stood up its first P-8I squadron in November 2015, designated Indian Naval Air Squadron 312A, at Rajali Naval Air Station in Tamil Nadu province. All eight aircraft are currently operational with the navy.

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