U.S. State Department OKs potential sale of P-8 surveillance planes to India -Pentagon

Washington (Reuters) – The U.S. State Department has approved the potential sale of six Boeing-made P-8I patrol aircraft and related equipment to India for an estimated cost of $2.42 billion, the Pentagon said on Friday.

India’s potential purchase of P-8 aircraft would help expand its maritime surveillance capabilities.

The package would includes tactical radio, missile warning sensors, GPS systems, support equipment, spares and technical support, the Pentagon said.

The Pentagon’s Defense Security Cooperation Agency notified Congress of the possible sale on Friday.

Despite approval by the State Department, the notification does not indicate that a contract has been signed or that negotiations have concluded.

The Pentagon said Boeing was the prime contractor for the weapons.

India’s first purchase of P-8I aircraft was in 2009.