Amid tensions between India and China, the US Navy’s long-range anti-submarine warfare and maritime surveillance aircraft, P-8 Poseidon, carried out its maiden refuelling from India’s strategic base in Andaman and Nicobar (A&N) Islands. The aircraft is armed with radars in addition to missiles and rockets to tackle enemy submarines and warships.
The American plane landed at Port Blair for just a few hours on September 25 for logistics and refuelling help. The operation was carried out under the Logistics Exchange Memorandum of Agreement (LEMOA), signed between India and the US in 2016.
India and US have been offering refuelling and operational turnaround services to each other under the reciprocal navy logistics pact inked in 2016.
The development is significant as India, and the US have additionally cooperated in drills in the Indian Ocean area close to the Andamans — a vital maritime provide line for China.
The development assumes more importance because it comes at a time when India and China are locked in a tense stand-off in Ladakh.
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