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Def Min clears procurement of simulation-based training solution for P8l aircraft

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Indian Navy's P8I maritime patrol aircraft.

NEW DELHI (PTI): Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman on Thursday approved the procurement of a simulation-based training solution for Indian Navy's P8l anti-submarine warfare aircraft and an electronic warfare system for the Army at a total cost of about Rs 2,419 crore.

The P-8I training solution will be bought from the US defence major Boeing for Rs 1949.32 crore, the Defence Ministry said.

The deal entails a 10-year comprehensive maintenance service for the module by Boeing.

The Low Intensity Conflict Electronic Warfare System (LICEWS) for the Army is being procured from state-run defence PSU Bharat Electronics Limited for Rs 470 crore.

"This system will equip Indian Army with upgraded communications infrastructure to effectively deal with advanced communications systems being used by terrorist groups," the Defence Ministry said in a statement.

The communication system is likely to be deployed along the LoC in Jammu and Kashmir.

On the simulation-based training solution for the Navy's P8l anti-submarine warfare aircraft, the Ministry said, "The training solution accurately simulates P-8I aircraft and mission systems."

It will help Indian Navy train and realistically rehearse for sophisticated missions involving P-8I aircraft, at a fraction of the cost of live aircraft training, the Ministry said.

The first P-8I aircraft, manufactured by Boeing, was inducted in the Indian Navy in 2013 and at present, eight P 8I aircraft have been fully integrated into Indian naval operations.

In 2016, the Defence Ministry had placed a follow-up order for four additional P-8I, the delivery of which will begin in 2020.

The P-8I aircraft are equipped with long range anti-submarine warfare, anti-surface warfare as well as surveillance and reconnaissance.

Officials said the aircraft is capable of thrusting a punitive response and maintaining a watch over India's immediate and extended areas of interest.

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