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Indian Navy plans to induct 24 long-range surveillance aircraft

A file photo of P-8I long-range maritime reconnaissance aircraft.

NEW DELHI (PTI): To provide round-the-clock surveillance over the country's maritime zone, the Navy has planned to induct 24 maritime reconnaissance aircraft and has already placed orders with the US for 12 of them.

"We have already placed orders for 12 P-8I long-range maritime reconnaissance aircraft with the US, but in the long run, we would like to have a fleet of 24 such aircraft in our inventory," Navy officials said here.

The Indian Navy had signed a USD 2.1 billion deal with the US in January 2009 to procure eight LRMR aircraft and is processing a case for procuring four additional aircraft of the same make.

They said the aircraft to be ordered in the future will be procured through a fresh tender process and may not be from the same manufacturer which has supplied the P-8Is.

India's coastline exceeds 7,500 km, besides which there are Andaman and Nicobar and Lakshadweep island territories and economic interests off the east and west coasts.

Navy Chief Admiral Nirmal Verma had recently said that the first P-8I aircraft from the US was expected to join the force by early 2013 after its first successful test-flight in the US in September this year.

The Navy is also planning to procure six Medium range maritime reconnaissance aircraft for which it has issued a fresh tender.


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