Indian Navy’s second P-8I aircraft squadron commissioned
Indian Naval Air Squadron 316, the Indian Navy’s second P-8I aircraft squadron has been commissioned into the Indian Navy.
The commissioning ceremony took place today (29 March) at INS Hansa, Goa. INAS 316 will operate the Boeing P-8I aircraft, a multi-role long-range maritime reconnaissance anti-submarine warfare (LRMR ASW) aircraft, that can be equipped with a range of air-to-ship missiles and torpedoes.
The squadron has been specifically commissioned to be the home for the four new P-8I aircraft procured under the Option Clause contract.
These aircraft have been operating from Hansa since 30 December 2021 and the squadron is integrated with full-spectrum surface and subsurface naval operations.
“The ‘Game Changer’ aircraft is a potent platform for Maritime Surveillance and strike, Electronic warfare missions, Search and Rescue, providing targeting data to Weapon platforms, providing time-critical surveillance information for IA and IAF and is also the platform of choice for detecting and neutralising enemy ships and submarines in Indian Ocean Region,” the navy stated.
With the new squadron, the Indian Navy aims to play an effective strategic role in the region, and to expand its operational reach.
INAS 316 is commanded by Commander Amit Mohapatra, an accomplished Boeing P-8I pilot with extensive operational experience. He has also flown maritime air platforms such as IL-38 and Dornier 228 and also Commanded INS Baratang as well as served as the Executive Officer of INS Tarkash.