Indian Navy deployed P-8I long range maritime surveillance aircraft for anti piracy

Indian Navy deployed its P-8I long-range maritime surveillance aircraft for anti-piracy sorties from Salalah in Oman to patrol the Gulf of Aden. This is the second time the P-8I is operated from Salalah for anti-piracy in 2019. It was operated from there first January. It is an expansion of its Mission Based Deployments (MBD) in the Indian Ocean Region (IOR). 

The P-8I provides long-range Maritime Domain Awareness (MDA). The P8I is long-range anti-submarine warfare, surveillance and reconnaissance aircraft capable of broad-area, maritime and littoral operations.
India had placed orders for 12 P-8 India maritime surveillance and anti-submarine warfare from the US under a USD 2.2 billion dollar deal in 2012.
Also, the country had ordered four more planes to carry out extensive surveillance of the Indian Ocean region and the country’s exclusive economic zone.

Anti-piracy patrol:
India has been conducting anti-piracy patrols in the commercially crucial Gulf of Aden, since 2008. The anti-piracy patrols have been escorting Indian flagged vessels and ships of other countries have also been provided protection. 
The Indian Navy has escorted 3,440 ships, of which 3,027 were of the foreign flag and 413 Indian flags, till date. The Navy now maintains a ship at every choke point in the IOR at any point of time under the MBD concept.
The aircraft have also helped in detection of Chinese nuclear and conventional submarines operating in the Indian Ocean and waters close to India.

India’s maritime engagement:
As part of expanding engagement maritime engagement, India has stepped up cooperation with Indian Ocean littoral states and maritime neighbours. Under the Neighbourhood First policy, the Navy undertakes Joint Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) surveillance with Maldives, Seychelles and Mauritius and Coordinated Patrols (CORPAT) with Bangladesh, Myanmar, Thailand, and Indonesia.

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