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In a significant move to strengthen its maritime capabilities, the Indian Ministry of Defence has approved the acquisition of 15 maritime patrol aircraft. The deal, estimated to cost Rs 29,000 crore, will see the purchase of nine surveillance aircraft for the Indian Navy and six patrol aircraft for the Indian Coast Guard.

Crucially, these aircraft will be built on the C-295 transport aircraft, manufactured in India through a joint venture between Tata Advanced Systems and Airbus. This signifies a major push towards the “Make in India” initiative in the defense sector. The Defence Research and Development Organisation’s Centre for Airborne Systems will equip the C-295 platforms with specialized radars and sensors, transforming them into versatile maritime patrol aircraft.

The induction of these aircraft will significantly enhance India’s ability to monitor its vast coastline and exclusive economic zone (EEZ). The Navy’s new surveillance platforms will bolster its capabilities in areas like anti-submarine warfare, search and rescue operations, and long-range surveillance. Similarly, the Coast Guard’s upgraded patrol aircraft will improve its effectiveness in tasks like fisheries protection, anti-piracy operations, and disaster response.

This acquisition comes amidst growing concerns about maritime security in the Indian Ocean region, including piracy, illegal fishing, and potential geopolitical tensions. Strengthening its maritime capabilities allows India to play a more active role in ensuring regional stability and protecting its maritime interests.

The approval of this project represents a major step forward in modernizing India’s maritime forces. The integration of indigenously produced platforms further promotes self-reliance and technological advancement in the defense sector. With the delivery of these aircraft, both the Navy and Coast Guard will be better equipped to safeguard India’s maritime interests and contribute to regional security.