Friday, October 1, 2010

India to Order Another Four P-8I Poseidon Long-Range Maritime Patrol Aircraft

India's biggest- ever defence deal inked with US till now is all set to get bigger. Plans are virtually final now to order another four P-8I Poseidon long-range maritime patrol aircraft to add to the eight already contracted under the $2.1 billion deal inked last year. Defence ministry sources say the project to acquire four more Boeing P-8I aircraft will be taken up for approval in the meeting of the defence acquisitions council, headed by A K Antony, on October 8.

It will be held in the backdrop of the recent visits of Antony and Navy chief Admiral Nirmal Verma to US. ''The new P-8Is will cost the same as each of the eight ordered in January 2009, without any cost escalation. There will also be similar offsets requirements. In the original $2.1-billion contract, the offsets were valued over $600 million,'' said a source.India is going in for the 12 P-8Is to plug huge gaps in its maritime snooping capabilities in the Indian Ocean Region (IOR), which has become heavily militarised with even China increasingly making strategic forays into the region.

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