Panaji : Air Squadron 316, the Navy’s second P-8I aircraft squadron, was commissioned into the Indian Navy at INS Hansa at Dabolim in South Goa on Tuesday. Admiral R Hari Kumar, PVSM, AVSM, VSM, ADC, the Chief of the Naval Staff, was the Chief Guest. Admiral Hari Kumar said: ”India is the ‘Preferred Security Partner’ in the Indian Ocean region which reflects our country’s ability to play an effective strategic role in the region and the need to expand its operational reach.’ ”The Indian Navy is integral to this commitment. In pursuance of this objective, the commissioning of INAS 316 marks yet another milestone towards enhancing maritime security and surveillance in the Indian Ocean Region,” he said. INAS 316 has been christened ‘Condors’, which is one of the largest flying land birds with a massive wingspan. The insignia of the squadron depicts a ‘Condor’ searching over the vast blue expanse of the sea. ‘Condors’ are known for excellent sensory capabilities, powerful and sharp talons and large massive wings symbolising the capabilities of the aircraft and envisaged roles of the squadron. INAS 316 will operate the Boeing P-8I aircraft, a multi-role Long Range Maritime Reconnaissance Anti-Submarine Warfare (LRMR ASW) aircraft, with twin CFM Jet engines which can be equipped with a range of Air-to-Ship Missiles and Torpedoes. The ‘Game Changer’ aircraft is a potent platform for maritime surveillance and strike, electronic warfare missions, search and rescue, providing targeting data to weapon platforms, providing time-critical surveillance information for IA and IAF along the LOC and LAC and is also the platform of choice for detecting and neutralising enemy ships and submarines in Indian Ocean Region. The squadron has been specifically commissioned to be the home for the four new P-8I aircraft procured under the Option Clause contract and to ‘Deter, Detect and Destroy’ any threat in the IOR. INAS 316 is commanded by Commander Amit Mohapatra, an accomplished Boeing P-8I pilot with extensive operational experience.