India may buy US patrol aircraft

The Watcher

New Member
This is from Financial Times subcription section! Sorry no link Available.

Published: September 10 2003 5:00

India's navy began talks yesterday to buy the US-made P3 Orion aircraft, continuing the country's military spending spree after the $1.34bn (£846m) deal last week to buy Hawk jets from BAE Systems in Britain.

Senior US navy officials, starting a week's visit to New Delhi, are proposing that the Orion, an anti-submarine and maritime patrol aircraft, replace India's ageing fleet of Russian-made Il-38 aircraft.

If the Orion sale goes ahead, it is likely to be the biggest arms deal between the US and India, surpassing a $200m deal for US-made radars for India's army announced last November.

It would also underline increasing US openness towards direct arms sales to India, which has over the past few years relied on dealing with third parties such as Israel to procure US military equipment.

Washington earlier this year allowed Israel to sell the US-designed Phalcon airborne early warning system to India. An India-Israel deal on the Phalcon is expected to be signed soon.

Commander Vinay Garg of the Indian navy said: "The Indian navy has a requirement for maritime patrol aircraft. It all depends on the kind of offer but the requirement is for eight to 10 aircraft."

Officials from Lockheed Martin, makers of Orion, said the negotiations involved old aircraft that would be refurbished to offer 25 years of further service to India.

While the total cost of the US navy's proposal remains unknown, a Lockheed Martin official said a new P3 Orion sold for "hundreds of millions of dollars".

Last year, Italy allocated a budget of $1.93bn to buy 14 new maritime patrol aircraft such as the Orion, according to US trade magazine Aerospace America. India's navy operates three maritime patrol aircraft. Two of its the Il-38s crashed last year in a training exercise.


New Member
I think pakistan has orions? How does this effect paks subs since orion is anti-sub as well? What type of anti A/C does pak have for its ships/navy???