INDIA. Mumbai: During his visit to Mumbai, Defence Minister Rajnath Singh flew a sortie on the Indian Navy’s P8I Long Range Maritime Reconnaissance Anti-Submarine Warfare aircraft.
The state-of-the-art mission suite and sensors were used to demonstrate long-range surveillance, electronic warfare, imagery intelligence, anti-submarine warfare (ASW) missions, and Search & Rescue capabilities during the mission.
The flight crew for this mission consisted of two pilots and seven Naval Air Operations Officers, including three women.
According to an official statement, the Indian Navy’s persistent surveillance operations in the Indian Ocean Region have been significantly enhanced since the induction of P8I aircraft in 2013. (IOR).
The P-8I aircraft is maritime surveillance and reconnaissance aircraft manufactured by Boeing in the United States. The Indian Navy was the P-8’s first international customer. It is also operated by the US Navy, the Royal Australian Air Force, the United Kingdom’s Royal Air Force, and the Royal Norwegian Air Force.
“Witnessed Naval Air Ops onboard the P8I, ably conducted by young and dynamic men & women. Having experienced Long Range Maritime Surveillance & ASW capabilities firsthand, I am certain that our maritime interests are in safe hands of a Combat Ready, Credible & Cohesive,” Singh tweeted on Wednesday and a video of his sortie.
Singh also visited the Naval Uprising Memorial at Colaba in South Mumbai and laid a wreath in homage to the sailors that participated in what is seen as the “last war of Independence,” the Naval Uprising of 1946. A 50-men Guard of Honour was presented to him at the memorial.
Later he interacted with officers, sailors, and veterans of the Western Naval Command over lunch at the Sailor’s Institute, “Sagar,” at Colaba.
Addressing officers and sailors of the Navy, he expressed the nation’s gratitude to them for the hardships they face at sea in the line of duty and the personal sacrifices they make in defence of the nation. He also expressed his deep respect for veterans for their selfless service to the nation.
The maiden firing of the first indigenously developed naval anti-missile
In another development, the Indian Navy, in association with Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO), successfully undertook the maiden firing of the first indigenously developed naval anti-ship missile from the SEAKING 42 B helicopter on Wednesday Balasore in Odisha.
The missile followed the desired sea-skimming trajectory and reached the designated target with high accuracy, validating the control, guidance, and mission algorithms.
In a tweet, the Indian Navy said this firing is a significant step towards achieving self-reliance in niche missile technology and reaffirms the Indian Navy’s commitment to indigenization.
The missile employed many new technologies, including an indigenously developed launcher for the helicopter. The Defence Minister congratulated DRDO, Indian Navy, and associated teams for the maiden developmental flight test. He added that India attained a high level of capability in the indigenous design and development of the Missile system.