The U.S. State Department on Friday approved the proposed sale of six P-8I patrol aircraft and related equipment, a deal estimated to cost $2.42 billion. In November 2019, the Defence Acquisition Council, chaired by Defence Minister Rajnath Singh, approved the procurement of the long-range maritime surveillance aircraft manufactured by Boeing.
The original proposal was for 10 more aircraft but was cut down to six due to budgetary constraints as well as because the Navy had adopted some fleet rationalisation measures and was considering long-endurance unmanned platforms.
The possible sale comes through the Foreign Military Sale route and requires that the U.S. Congress be notified, a process that was completed on Friday. Lawmakers have a statutory 30 days to raise any objections.
“The Government of India has requested to buy six (6) P-8I Patrol aircraft; eight (8) Multifunctional Information Distribution System-Joint Tactical Radio Systems 5 (MIDS-JTRS 5) (6 installed, 2 spares); forty-two (42) AN/AAR-54 Missile Warning Sensors (36 installed, 6 spares); and fourteen (14) LN-251 with Embedded Global Positioning Systems (GPS)/Inertial Navigations Systems (EGIs) (12 installed, 2 spares). Also included are CFM56-7 commercial engines