U.S. clears sale of six P-8I patrol aircraft to India


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The U.S. State Department approved the proposed sale of six P-8I patrol aircraft and related equipment, a deal estimated to cost $2.42 billion.


  • In November 2019, the Defence Acquisition Council approved the procurement of the long-range maritime surveillance aircraft manufactured by Boeing.
  • The Government of India has requested to buy -
  • Six (6) P-8I Patrol aircraft;
  •  Eight (8) Multifunctional Information Distribution System-Joint Tactical Radio Systems 5 (MIDS-JTRS 5) (6 installed, 2 spares);
  •  Forty-two (42) AN/AAR-54 Missile Warning Sensors (36 installed, 6 spares); and
  • Fourteen (14) LN-251 with Embedded Global Positioning Systems (GPS)/Inertial Navigations Systems (EGIs) (12 installed, 2 spares).
How the Navy's Latest Anti-Submarine Aircraft Sees Under the Waves

COMCASA foundational agreement

  • The Indian Navy is currently in the process of inducting the four P-8Is contracted under the offset clause in 2016.
  • The Navy had procured eight P-8Is in a $2.2-billion deal in 2009 with the optional clause for four more.
  •  The aircraft are part of the 312A Naval Air Squadron based at Arakkonam in Tamil Nadu.
  •  With India having signed the Communications Compatibility and Security Agreement (COMCASA) foundational agreement with the U.S., the six aircraft will come fitted with encrypted systems.
  • These systems were replaced with commercial off-the-shelf systems in the earlier deals.
  • The P-8I is based on the Boeing 737 commercial aircraft and India was its first international customer.

“Four Foundational Agreements” between the US and its Partners

General Security Of Military Information Agreement (GSOMIA)

○ GSOMIA allows militaries to share the intelligence gathered by them.

○ Signed by India in 2002.

● Logistics Exchange Memorandum of Agreement (LEMOA)

○ LEMOA allows both countries to have access to each other’s designated military facilities for refueling and replenishment.

○ Signed by India in 2016.

● Communications and Information Security Memorandum of Agreement (CISMOA)

○ COMCASA (Communications Compatibility and Security Agreement) is the India specific version of CISMOA.

○ Valid for 10 years, COMCASA aims to provide a legal framework for the transfer of highly sensitive communication security equipment from the US to India that will streamline and facilitate interoperability between their armed forces.

○ Signed by India in 2018.

● Basic Exchange and Cooperation Agreement (BECA)

○ BECA will allow India and US to share geospatial and satellite data with each other.

○ India has not signed BECA yet.



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