Boeing P-8I, the aircraft used for this patrol, is a long-range, multi-mission maritime patrol aircraft designed for the Indian Navy
In a first, the Indian Navy along with French Navy had conducted joint patrol from the Reunion Island, a French overseas territory located in the midst of the Indian Ocean and an island east of Madagascar, confirmed the Indian Navy sources. The joint patrol of this kind, conducted earlier in the month, is a rarity for a French non-NATO military link.
Boeing P-8I, the aircraft used for this patrol, is a long-range, multi-mission maritime patrol aircraft designed for the Indian Navy. India presently operates eight of the P-8I to date which it received as a part of direct commercial sale with four more in production to be delivered in the first quarter of 2020. Negotiations around the procurement of six more P-8I are underway.
The Indian Navy operates its entire fleet of eight P-8I maritime patrol aircraft from Rajali, the naval base in Arakkonam, Tamil Nadu.
The announcement of the joint patrolling to check the traffic in the IOR was made by French Navy Chief Admiral Christophe Prazuck in November 2019 during his visit to New Delhi.
Meanwhile, the Navies of India and France in May 2019 conducted the first phase of a mega naval exercise Varuna off the coast of Goa while the second phase was conducted in strategically located Djibouti.