Indo-US P8i surveillance Jets deal: Indian Ocean hegemony game plan

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NEW DELHI : India and United States of America in last one decade have taken their bilateral relations to new heights.

 

India has emerged to be the most reliable and the strategic partner of US in Asia. The main focus of the US policy in Asia seems to be containment of China and for the said purpose no other nation could serve the US aspirations better than India.

 

US has become the largest arms exporter to India and the Indian defence imports contracts from US in few years have touched $10 billion.

 

Recently the Cabinet Committee on Security (CCS), chaired by PM Narendra Modi, has cleared the acquisition of four Poseidon-8I long range surveillance and anti submarine warfare aircraft at a cost of over $1 billion. "The contract will be inked with Boeing in the next few days. The first P-8I will be delivered to the Navy within three years," said a source.

 

The four new P-8I aircraft, packed with radars and weapons, will join the first eight such aircraft inducted by the Navy in 2013-2015 under a $2.1 billion deal. Times of India said on Saturday.

 

The Navy is using the eight P-8Is, armed with deadly Harpoon Block-II missiles, MK-54 lightweight torpedoes, rockets and depth charges, to keep an "intelligent hawk-eye" over the entire Indian Ocean Region, which has witnessed stepped-up Chinese submarine forays over the last two years. With an operating range of 1,200 nautical miles, "with four hours on station", the P-8Is provide the reach and flexibility to undertake extensive maritime surveillance and intelligence-gathering missions.

 

They can detect "threats" in India's immediate and extended areas of interest and neutralize them if required. The CCS approval comes after the defence ministry last week also cleared acquisition of 145 M-777 ultra-light howitzers from the US. The Army wants these 155mm/39calibre howitzers as they can be swiftly airlifted to "threatened high-altitude areas" along the 4,057-km Line of Actual Control with China.

 

US is leaving no stone unturned to equip and arm India against China and Indian policy makers are being used and exploited at the hands of US Policy makers considering it as their foreign policy success without realising that billions of dollars are being paid from Indian exchequer money to US for imports of military weapons and armours which India is decorating in its arsenal in the name of countering China.

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