The second P-8I aircraft squadron of the Indian Navy was commissioned into the Navy today. The ceremony for the 316th Indian Navy Air Squadron was held at INS Hansa in Goa, and Admiral R Hari Kumar, Commander of the Navy, was the keynote guest, the Ministry of Defense said in a statement.
INAS 316 has been dubbed ‘Condors’, whose badge depicts condors looking over a vast expanse of navy blue. The Condor is known for its excellent sensory abilities, strong and sharp claws as well as large wings, which symbolize the aircraft’s capabilities and the squadron’s expected role, the Defense Ministry said.
INAS 316 will operate the Boeing P-8I aircraft, a multi-role long-range anti-submarine reconnaissance aircraft, which can be equipped with a variety of air-to-ship missiles and torpedoes.
This “game changer” aircraft is a powerful platform for maritime surveillance and strikes, electronic warfare missions, search and rescue, providing target data to weapons platforms and providing time -critical surveillance information, among others.
The squadron has been specifically tasked to be home to four new P-8I aircraft to counter any threats in the Indian Ocean Territory.
“India is the security partner of choice in the Indian Ocean region, which reflects our country’s ability to play an effective strategic role in the region, and needs to expand its operational reach,” Admiral Kumar said.
“The Indian Navy is critical in this commitment and in line with this objective, the commissioning of INAS 316 marks another milestone towards enhancing maritime security and surveillance in the Indian Ocean Territory,” he said.
The INAS 316 is operated by Commander Amit Mohapatra, a skilled Boeing P-8I pilot with extensive operational experience. He has also flown maritime air platforms such as the IL-38 and Dornier 228 and also commanded INS Baratang as well as served as Executive Officer of INS Tarkash.