The Boeing P-8 Poseidon is an anti-submarine warfare and anti-surface warfare aircraft developed for the United States Navy. Nevertheless, the US Navy is not a unique operator of that powerful aircraft. India renamed P-8 Poseidon into P-8I Neptune.
Ironically, Poseidon (Greek: Ποσειδῶν) was one of the twelve Olympian deities of the pantheon in Greek mythology. His main domain was the ocean, and he was called the «God of the Sea». The name of the sea-god Nethuns in Etruscan was adopted in Latin for Neptune in Roman mythology; both were sea gods analogous to Poseidon. So why in India sailors prefer Roman mythology Greek? I have no idea.
Notwithstanding, Boeing has delivered the sixth P-8I Neptune to the Indian Navy, the company announced in a statement on 25 November, as IHS said.
The aircraft was said to have arrived at Indian Naval Station (INS) Rajali in Arakkonam (southern India) on 24 November. It joins five other P-8Is already being used by the Indian Navy and is scheduled to begin flight trials «in the coming months», according to the statement.
The latest P-8I delivery is part of an eight-aircraft contract worth USD2.1 billion awarded in January 2009 to replace India’s ageing Russian Tupolev Tu-142Ms. The first aircraft was handed over to the Indian Navy in December 2012; the final two are scheduled for delivery in 2015.
The P-8I Neptune is based on Boeing’s 737 commercial aircraft, and can accommodate a crew of nine including five mission system operators. The aircraft has an operating range of more than 2,000 km with a four-hour on-station endurance.
The aircrafts are equipped with Raytheon’s APY-10 surveillance radar that incorporates air-to-air, air-to-sea, and all-weather modes. According to an IHS Jane’s report in May 2013, the aircraft are also armed with Raytheon’s AGM-84L Harpoon Block II anti-ship missiles and Mark-54 torpedoes for submarine prosecution.
Accordingly, India shows its serious ambitions for its military presence in the Indian Ocean.
P-8A Poseidon (P-8I Neptune) Technical Specs
Wing Span: 123.6 ft (37.64 m)
Height: 42.1 ft (12.83 m)
Length: 129.5 ft (39.47 m)
Propulsion: 2 CFM56-7B engines, 27,000 lb thrust (12,237 kgf, 120 kN)
Speed: 490 kn (564 mi/h, 908 km/h)
Range: 1,200 nmi with 4 hr on station (2,222 km)
Ceiling: 41,000 ft (12,496 m)
Maximum Takeoff Gross Weight: 189,200 lb (85,820 kg)