- In a boost to its maritime ISR capabilities (intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance), India is in the final stages of acquiring Poseidon-8I maritime patrol aircraft from the US.
- The Ministry of Defence has approved the acquisition of 10 Poseidon-8I aircraft from the US under the foreign military sales (FMS) programme.
- In addition, India is also in the final stages of acquiring the armed version of Sea Guardian drone called Predator B that will improve the maritime ISR capabilities.
In focus: Poseidon-8I (India)
- Poseidon 8I is a long range maritime patrol aircraft of Boeing.
- India decided to acquire Poseidon 8I in 2009 in the aftermath of 26/11 Mumbai terror attack to improve its maritime ISR capabilities.
- The Indian Navy had estimated the requirement of 22 Poseidon 8Is.
- While India has already acquired 8 of these aircrafts, 4 more will be delivered by 2021-22.
- Now the proposal to acquire 10 more P-8Is is in the final stages of approval.
- Poseidon 8 India is a sophisticated Anti Submarine Warfare aircraft.
- It is a long-range maritime patrol aircraft capable of undersea surveillance from a height of upto 40000 ft.
- It is equipped with Active Electronically Scanned Array (AESA) radars capable of engaging multiple targets simultaneously.
- Magnetic Anomaly Detection (MAD) radar will help locate submarines in deep seas.
- The India-version of Poseidon 8 is equipped with Harpoon Block-II missiles, MK-54 lightweight torpedoes to enhance its anti-submarine warfare capability.
In brief: Indo-US Defense partnership
- India is a key partner in America’s efforts to ensure that the Indo-Pacific is a region of peace, stability and growing prosperity.
- In 2016, India was awarded the status of a US major defence partner.
- This allows India to receive license-free access to a wide range of military and dual-use technologies.
- The two countries also agreed to an updated ten-year Defence Framework Agreement in June 2015 until 2025.
- Recently India was elevated to the Strategic Trade Authorisation-1 status giving India the same access as NATO allies in high-technology dual-use exports.
- Bilateral defence trade between India and the United States has risen from near zero to more than $15 billion since 2008.
- Other deals in the pipeline under FMS route include
- Naval multi-role MH-60 ‘Romeo’ helicopters
- NASAMS-II a missile shield over Delhi
- 6 Apache attack helicopters
- M777 Ultra Light Howitzers
- 24 MH-60R (Romeo) Multi-Role Helicopters
- CH-47F (I) Chinook helicopters.
In brief: Apache helicopters
- The AH-64 Apache is a multi-role combat helicopter.
- India will acquire 6 Apache attack helicopter to bolster India’s ability to defend its homeland and deter “regional threats”.
- The 6 helicopters are likely to be deployed against Pakistan and China.
In brief: MH-60R (Romeo) Seahawk helicopters
- MH-60R is a naval multi-role helicopter
- It will add to India’s anti-submarine warfare capability.
- It is capable of being operated from various types of warships including frigates, destroyers, cruisers and aircraft carriers
- It is the world’s most advanced maritime helicopter.
In brief: M777 Ultra light Howitzers
- India has inducted M777 Ultra Light Howitzers in its artillery weapon system
- The M777 is a 155-mm, 39-calibre towed artillery gun.
- M777 is a medium artillery gun with a maximum range of 30 km.
- It can be deployed in mountainous terrains devoid of roads.
In brief: CH-47F (I) Chinook helicopters
- CH-47 Chinook is an advanced heavy-lift helicopter soon to be inducted in Indian Air Force
- Chinook is a multi-role helicopter with vertical-lift platform, capable of air-lift services in both combat and humanitarian missions in difficult terrains.