FAZSOI stands for armed forces of the southern Indian Ocean area (forces armées de la zone sud de l’océan Indien in French).
According to local media Zinfos974, the P-8I and its crew stay for 5 days on the French island located in the southern Indian Ocean, and flew back to India on March 3.
The visit of the Indian MPA is in line with the framework of the Indo-Pacific relations and France-India cooperation desired by French President Emmanuel Macron.
The commanding officer of “Détachement Air 181 La Réunion
« Lieutenant Roland Garros »” air base, located North of the island and which hosted the P-8I, explained that India is France’ strategic partner in the southern area of the Indian Ocean. The P-8I interacted with both the French Air Force as well as with the French Navy’s Floreal-class frigates based on the Island.
The commander of the Indian Navy P-8I told Zinfos974 :
“We are convinced that joint security operations make it possible to maintain the security of international maritime routes for trade and communications in accordance with international law to combat terrorism and maritime piracy, to raise awareness of the maritime domain and for better coordination of regional / international waters in the region. We expect fruitful engagements with the French Navy in the days to come ”
About P-8I MPA Neptune
The P-8A is a long-range multi-mission maritime patrol aircraft capable of broad-area, maritime and littoral operations. A military derivative of the Boeing Commercial Next-Generation 737 airplane, the P-8A combines superior performance and reliability with an advanced mission system that ensures maximum interoperability in the battle space.
The P-8I is a customized export variant of the P-8A featuring specific equipments for the Indian Navy. Two major components not fitted on the P-8A are a Telephonics APS-143 OceanEye aft radar and a magnetic anomaly detector (MAD). India has received eight of the P-8I variant to date with four more in production to be delivered from April 2020. It intends to procure six more aircraft.
The P-8A is militarized with maritime weapons, a modern open mission system architecture, and commercial-like support for affordability. The aircraft has been modified to include a bomb bay and pylons for weapons – two weapons stations on each wing – and can carry 129 sonobuoys. The aircraft is also fitted with an in-flight refueling system. With more than 180,000 flight hours to date, P-8 variants, the P-8A Poseidon and the P-8I, patrol the globe performing anti-submarine and anti-surface warfare; intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance; humanitarian; and search and rescue missions.
The United Kingdom is one of six international customers for the P-8A Poseidon. The first British Poseidon MRA Mk1 was delivered earlier this year. As a direct commercial sale, India has received eight of the P-8I variant to date with four more in production to be delivered from April 2020. The U.S. Navy is on contract to receive 111 with the potential for additional quantities based on the fleet’s needs. As a cooperative partner with the Maritime Patrol and Reconnaissance Program Office, Australia began receiving their P-8A aircraft in 2016 with eight delivered and four more in production; Norway will begin receiving their five P-8As in 2022; both New Zealand and South Korea have signed agreements with the U.S. Navy to purchase four and six aircraft respectively.