China will have a headache with India Navy's latest acquisition--the P-8I Submarine Hunters. These reconnaissance aircraft will be beneficial as tension continues to rise in the Arabian Sea and the Indian Ocean.
The People's Liberation Army (PLA) is critical of these advanced aircraft as it poses as a threat to them.
One of the goals of the Indian Naval Force is to upgrade its surveillance and anti-submarine capabilities in the Indian Ocean and Arabian Sea to counter Chinese aggression.
This October, the next batch of P-8Is will be sent to the Indian Naval Ship (INS) Goa, Hansa, to boost its anti-submarine warfare (ASW) against the Chinese submarine fleet, reported Indian Defense Times.
Before buying these reconnaissance aircraft, the INS was shorthanded in the ASW, said officials. Beefing up the reconnaissance of the above surface and underwater surveillance will give the PLA Navy problems. India has eight P-8Is that are housed at the INS Rajali, Arakkonam in Tamil Nadu. But for the western coast of India, new reconnaissance and ASW aircraft will cover more areas, cited Times of India.
The aircraft takes off from the Boeing's facility in Seattle, and will be landing at the INS Hansa base.
China has been trying to acquire such a craft for reverse engineering. They are blocked from doing so unless approved by the U.S. government.
For the Indian Naval forces, this will be their first experience in maritime surveillance that is now crucial given the situation. When the aircraft land in Hansa, they will go to INS Rajali in the meantime, noted Defense Aviation Post.
Before this purchase, Delhi got eight of the P-8 in 2009. In 2016, four were added to beef up the forces adding to its capabilities. Buying the current batch of P-8I Submarine Hunters was part of the contract for the Indian Navy.
Why China is sore at the US for selling them to India
According to former chief of naval staff Admiral Arun Prakash, these are multi-purpose aircraft with the best equipment and loadout compared to Pakistan. The P-8I will track and hound Chinese or Pakistani subs or ships, then kill them with its artillery.
P-8Is are relatively fast at 789 kmph and with a maximum range of 1,200 nautical miles. Far better than the Ilyushin Il-38 (IL 38), which is also based in Goa.
The Chinese had deployed a second rate AWACS that is not as advanced as the one in the Ladakh border, Defense Talks.
Former Captain DK Sharma emphasized its maximum altitude at 40,000 feet high, with longer ranges enabling a wider area of control. He added that China and Pakistan have colluded against India, thus having the P-8I will give them headaches.
The Chinese's intention is to control the Arabian Sea and even the India Sea.
No country believes what the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) says, establishing ports for their ships in their hegemonistic intent. These ports are in Asia and Africa that could be difficult for India.
The Ladakh border scuffle is not finished by a longshot. These reconnaissance aircraft are monitoring the Chinese force there. During 2017, their presence paid off in the Doklam standoff.
Equipping the Indian Navy with P-8I Submarine Hunters gives them a heads up on Chinese activity in the Arabian and Indian Ocean.
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