The Indian Navy halted plans to purchase six more Boeing P-8I aircraft that were approved by the Defence Acquisition Council for the Indian Navy in 2019 for a locally developed maritime patrol and reconnaissance aircraft program. The Indian Navy was the first export customer and is currently the second largest operator of the American maritime patrol and reconnaissance aircraft.
However, Boeing and Pentagon representatives are still pressuring New Delhi to reconsider and place orders for six additional P-8I aircraft, which were in the works and appeared to be close to being finalized.
According to Pentagon sources, given the increasing demand for “maritime domain awareness” over the Indian Ocean, where the Indian Navy serves as the region’s gatekeeper, India would eventually purchase 25 to 35 P-8I.
In addition to retiring some of its older aircraft from its fleet of anti-submarine warfare and maritime patrol aircraft recently, the Indian Navy withdrew its long-range Tupolev-142 maritime patrol aircraft from the Soviet era in 2017.
The development of the Desi P-8I aircraft by DRDO can use a Boeing 737 Next Generation aircraft as a mounting platform for locally manufactured Multi Mission Maritime Aircraft, according to recent confirmation from Boeing.