NEW DELHI - Defence minister Nirmala Sitharaman cleared on Thursday a Rs 1,950-crore project for buying full motion simulator from US defence firm Boeing to train aircrews for missions on the Indian Navy’s P-8I submarine hunter planes, a government spokesperson said.
The P-8I ‘training solution’ contract includes 10-year comprehensive maintenance service. “It will help Indian Navy train and realistically rehearse for sophisticated missions involving P-8I aircraft, at a fraction of the cost of live aircraft training,” the spokesperson said.
The navy operates a fleet of eight Boeing P-8I planes based at the Naval Air Station Rajali in Tamil Nadu. And four more P-8Is - a military derivative of the 737-800 commercial aircraft - are on order. The planes, a replacement for the Soviet-era Tu-142 fleet, are expected to be in naval service beyond 2050.
The P-8I is the Indian Navy variant of the P-8A Poseidon operated by the US Navy.
Sitharaman also cleared a proposal to upgrade the army’s communications infrastructure to effectively deal with advanced communications systems being used by terrorist groups, the spokesperson said. The army will but low intensity conflict electronic warfare system (LICEWS) from Bharat Electronics for Rs 470 crore.