Indian Navy on Tuesday commissioned its 2nd Anti-Submarine Warfare (ASW) squadron consisting of P-8I Long Range Maritime Reconnaissance Anti-Submarine Warfare (LRMR ASW) aircraft. The commissioning ceremony was held at Goa-based Indian Navy’s largest operational airbase “INS Hansa”. The ceremony was attended by Indian Naval Chief “Admiral R Hari Kumar” along with other senior military and civil officials.
New squadron is number plated as “Indian Naval Air Squadron 316”. INAS 136 is second Indian Navy’s squadron after INAS 312, which will operate P-8I aircraft. As per the Indian Navy’s press release, “The Indian Navy had acquired the first batch of eight P-8I aircraft in 2013 that are stationed at INS Rajali, Arakkonam. INAS 316 will operate the second batch of four additional aircraft acquired, adding teeth to the armor of the Indian Navy, to deter, detect and destroy any threat to the nation in the IOR.”
P-8I is a Long Range Maritime Reconnaissance Anti-Submarine Warfare (LRMR ASW) aircraft, that can be armed with Anti-Ship missiles and torpedoes. This aircraft can perform a variety of tasks such as 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 neutralizing enemy ships and submarines in Indian Ocean Region.
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Indian Navy’s Press Release says, “INAS 316 is commanded by Commander Amit Mohapatra, an accomplished Boeing P-8I pilot with extensive operational experience. He has also flown maritime air platforms such as IL-38 and Dornier 228 and also Commanded INS Baratang as well as served as the Executive Officer of INS Tarkash.
Umair Aslam is the Founder and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Global Defense Insight. He has worked as a defense journalist reporting on military modernization programs, nuclear non-proliferation, arms control, and the South Asian Arms race.