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New Delhi: Boeing Co. will set up its third global P-8I reconnaissance plane training facility at INS Rajali, an Indian naval air base in Tamil Nadu after government cleared its contract on Thursday.

“This will be only the second facility anywhere globally after Australia," a Boeing spokesperson said. US already has a similar facility.

One full motion simulator will be installed at Rajali that will train air crew mission operators and aircraft maintainers on the aircraft including in weapons training and ordnance training, Boeing said, adding the order was done under direct commercial sales.

The plane is used extensively for missions ranging from patrolling and spotting passing submarines and ships to search missions in the Bay of Bengal and Arabian Sea.

The so-called P-8I Training Solution, along with a 10-year comprehensive maintenance service, will be bought from Boeing for Rs1,949.32 crore after it was cleared by defence minister Nirmala Sitharaman, the defence ministry said in a Thursday statement.

“This training solution accurately simulates P-8I aircraft and mission systems. It will help Indian Navy train and realistically rehearse for sophisticated missions involving P-8I aircraft, at a fraction of the cost of live aircraft training," the defence ministry said.

To be sure, most pilots practice on similar flight simulators both for civilian and defence missions.

The first P-8I aircraft was inducted in Indian Navy in 2013 and as of date, eight aircraft, based at INS Rajali, have been fully integrated into Indian Naval operations. In 2016, India placed a follow-on order for four additional P-8Is, the delivery of which will begin in 2020.

“The aircraft is capable of thrusting a punitive response and maintaining a watch over India’s immediate and extended areas of interest," the defence ministry said.

The 12 P-8Is are expected to have been bought for about $3 billion.

The defence ministry has also cleared procurement of LICEWS from Bharat Electronics Ltd for Rs470 crore. This system will equip Indian Army with upgraded communications infrastructure to effectively deal with advanced communication systems being used by terrorist groups, it said.

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