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India ‘preferred security partner’ in Indian Ocean region, says Indian Navy Chief Admiral R. Hari Kumar

Source : Indo-Asian News Service (IANS)

India ‘preferred security partner’ in Indian Ocean region, says Indian Navy Chief Admiral R. Hari Kumar
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India is the ‘preferred security partner’ in the Indian Ocean region, which reflects India’s ability to play an effective strategic role in the region and need to expand its operational reach, Chief of Naval Staff Admiral R. Hari Kumar said on Tuesday.

Speaking in Goa at the commissioning of the Indian Navy’s second P-81 aircraft squadron, ‘INAS 316’, Kumar also said that the commissioning of the new squadron marked another milestone towards enhancing maritime security and surveillance in the Indian Ocean Region.

“With the commissioning of INAS 316, we will be inducting four new P-8Is, delivered under the Option Clause with Boeing. These aircraft, with advanced maritime patrol radars, state-of-the-art acoustic suites, EO/ IR equipment, air-to-ship missiles and torpedoes, are substantial capability enhancers,” Kumar said.

“While the potent assets of the Indian Navy, would continue to innovate and enhance their combat role to meet security challenges of the future – the commissioning of INAS 316, will certainly enhance our operational capabilities across the three domains of maritime operations – sea, air and sub-surface,” he added.

Christened as ‘Condors’, the INAS 316 are considered one of the largest flying land birds with a massive wingspan. The insignia of the squadron depicts a ‘Condor’, a bird known for excellent sensory capabilities, powerful and sharp talons and large massive wings symbolises the capabilities of the aircraft and envisaged roles of the squadron.

A statement issued by the Indian Navy also said that the INAS 316 will operate the Boeing P-8I aircraft, a multi-role Long Range Maritime Reconnaissance Anti-Submarine Warfare (LRMR ASW) aircraft, that can be equipped with a range of Air-to-Ship Missiles and Torpedoes.

“The ‘Game Changer’ aircraft is a potent platform for Maritime Surveillance and strike, Electronic warfare missions, Search and Rescue, providing targeting data to Weapon platforms, providing time-critical surveillance information for IA and IAF and is also the platform of choice for detecting and neutralising enemy ships and submarines in Indian Ocean Region,” the statement said.

“The squadron has been specifically commissioned to be the home for the four new P-8I aircraft procured under the Option Clause contract and to Deter, Detect and Destroy any threat in the IOR,” it added.

The aircraft have been operating from the Goa-based naval base INS Hansa since December 30, 2021 and the squadron is integrated with full spectrum surface and subsurface Naval Operations.

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