P-8I  Aircraft


Aviation and defence colossus Boeing delivered India’s 12th maritime surveillance and anti-submarine warfare P-8I aircraft .


GS III- Science and Technology, Various Security Forces & Agencies & Their Mandate

Dimensions of the Article:
  1. About P-8I Patrol Aircraft
  2. Naval operations

About P-8I Patrol Aircraft:

  • The P-8I, manufactured by American aviation giant Boeing.
  • It is a multi-mission maritime patrol aircraft, excelling at anti-submarine warfare; anti-surface warfare; intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance and search and rescue.
  • The first of these aircraft was inducted in 2013, and it made India the first country outside the United States to get one. The Navy has been receiving them regularly since.
First in US and India

The first aircraft produced by Boeing flew in 2009, and has been in service with the US Navy since 2013, the same year as the Indian Navy.

The aircraft has two variants 

  • P-8I, which is manufactured for the Indian Navy,
  • P-8A Poseidon, which is flown by the US Navy, the United Kingdom’s Royal Air Force, the Royal Australian Air Force, and the Royal Norwegian Air Force.
    • It has also been selected by the Royal New Zealand Air Force, the Republic of Korea Navy, and the German Navy.
Tech specs
  • The P-8I can fly as high as 41,000 feet, and has a short transit time, which reduces the size of the “Area of Probability when searching for submarines, surface vessels or search and rescue survivors”.
  • It is also used for low altitude, and humanitarian, and search and rescue missions.
  • The aircraft has two engines, and is about 40 metres long, with a wingspan of 37.64 metres.
  • Each aircraft weighs about 85,000 kg, and has a top speed of 490 knots, or 789 km/hour.
  • It requires a crew of nine, and has a range of 1,200+ nautical miles, with 4 hours on station, which means about 2,222 km.
Weapons systems
  • The aircraft comes with one of the most advanced weapon systems in the world, and has a life of around 25 years, or 25,000 hours in the “harshest maritime flight regimes, including extended operations in icing environments”.
  • It is one of Boeing’s “most advanced aircraft”, and the P-8A “uses a first-in-industry in-line production system”.
  • While the Indian Navy uses it for maritime operations, the aircraft was also used in eastern Ladakh in 2020 and 2021, when the standoff with China was at its peak, to keep an eye on Chinese troops and their manoeuvres.
  • The aircraft for the Indian Navy are called P-8I, and have replaced the ageing Soviet/Russian Tupolev Tu-142s.
  • The P-8Is are capable of anti-submarine; intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance (ISR); patrolling, coastline defence, and other operations.

Ahom Warrior Lachit Borphukan


In Assam on a three-day visit, President inaugurated the year-long celebration of the 400th birth anniversary of Lachit Borphukan, commander of the Ahom forces and an icon of Assamese nationalism, in Guwahati. He also laid the foundation stone for the Alaboi war memorial, a tribute to soldiers who had fought and suffered a setback against the Mughals at Alaboi, two years before Lachit’s decisive victory at the battle of Saraighat in 1671.


GS I- History

Dimensions of the Article:
  1. Lachit’s era
  2. Alaboi and Saraighat battles
  3. Legacy of Lachit Borphukan

Lachit’s era

  • He was Born on 24th November, 1622.
  • Borphukan was known for his leadership in the Battle of Saraighat, 1671 in which an attempt by Mughal forces to capture Assam was thwarted.
  • He was the inspiration behind strengthening India’s naval force and revitalising inland water transport and creating infrastructure associated with it due to his great naval strategies.
  • He died on 25th April, 1672.
  • Ahom kings ruled large parts of Assam, and parts of neighbouring states, for nearly 600 years between the 13th and 19th centuries.
  • Between 1615 and 1682, the Mughal Empire made a series of attempts, under Jahangir and then Aurangzeb, to annex the Ahom kingdom.
  • In January 1662, Mughal Governor of Bengal Mir Jumla’s forces engaged with the Ahom army and went on to occupy part of the territory under Ahom rule.
  • Between 1667 and 1682, the Ahoms under a series of rulers, starting with Chakradhwaj Singha, (reigned 1663-70) launched a counter-offensive to reclaim lost territories. This included the battles Lachit is remembered for.

Alaboi and Saraighat battles

In 1669, Aurangzeb dispatched the Rajput Raja Ram Singh I to recapture territories won back by the Ahoms.

Battle of Alaboi
  • The battle of Alaboi was fought on August 5, 1969 in the Alaboi Hills near Dadara in North Guwahati.
  • While the Mughals preferred an open battle, Borphukan relied on his knowledge of the territory and engaged in guerrilla warfare, carrying out assaults on the Mughals.
  • After initial setbacks, Ram Singh sent his entire battery of Rajput soldiers and Mughal veterans and turned the tide of the battle. The Ahoms suffered heavy losses.
Battle of Saraighat
  • The battle of Saraighat was fought on the banks of the Brahmaputra in Guwahati in 1671.
  • It is considered as one of the greatest naval battles on a river which resulted in the victory of Ahoms over the Mughals.
  • Unlike in Alaboi, where he was forced to fight on land instead of a naval battle, Lachit in Saraighat entice the Mughals into a naval battle.

Legacy of Lachit Borphukan

  • On 24 November each year, Lachit Divas is celebrated statewide in Assam to commemorate the heroism of Lachit Borphukan and the victory of the Assamese army at the Battle of Saraighat.
  • Lachit Divas is celebrated to promote the ideals of Lachit Borphukan – the legendary general of Assam’s history.
  • The best cadet from the National Defence Academy is awarded the Lachit Borphukan gold medal.
    • It was first instituted in 1999 following an announcement by General VP Malik saying the medal would inspire defence personnel to emulate Barphukan’s heroism and sacrifices.

Black Carbon


Black carbon (BC) concentration in Antarctica is considerably higher around research stations and popular tourist destinations than other parts of the continent, according to a new report  published in Nature Communications. 


GS III- Environment and Ecology

Dimensions of the Article:
  1. What is Black Carbon?
  2. Adverse Effects of Black Carbon
  3. Brown Carbon

What is Black Carbon?

  • Black carbon is a potent climate-warming component of particulate matter formed by the incomplete combustion of fossil fuels, wood and other fuels.
  • Complete combustion would turn all carbon in the fuel into carbon dioxide (CO2), but combustion is never complete and CO2, carbon monoxide, volatile organic compounds, and organic carbon and black carbon particles are all formed in the process.
  • The complex mixture of particulate matter resulting from incomplete combustion is often referred to as soot.
  • It reduces the surface albedo and can lead to earlier and more rapid snow melt.

Adverse Effects of Black Carbon

  • Black carbon is a short-lived climate pollutant with a lifetime of only days to weeks after release in the atmosphere.
  • During this short period of time, black carbon can have significant direct and indirect impacts on the climate, glacial regions, agriculture and human health.
  • Several studies have demonstrated that measures to prevent black carbon emissions can reduce near-term warming of the climate, increase crop yields and prevent premature deaths.
  • Black carbon absorbs solar energy and warms the atmosphere.
  • When it falls to earth with precipitation, it darkens the surface of snow and ice, reducing their albedo (the reflecting power of a surface), warming the snow, and hastening melting.

Brown Carbon:

  • Brown carbon is a carbonaceous aerosol which absorbs solar radiation over a broad range of wavelengths which is beginning to be seen as an important contributor to global warming.
  • Brown Carbon absorbs both inorganic and organic pollutants, leading to serious effects on human health. Hence, Brown carbon (light-absorbing organic carbon) has attracted interest as a possible cause of climate change.
  • Brown Carbon is a class of organic carbon, known for its light brownish colour, absorbs strongly in the ultraviolet wavelengths and less significantly going into the visible.
  • Types of brown carbon include tar materials from smouldering fires or coal combustion, breakdown products from biomass burning, a mixture of organic compounds emitted from soil, and volatile organic compounds given off by vegetation.
Brown CarbonBlack Carbon
Brown Carbon is brown in colour and its absorption is limited to UV and lower visible wavelengths. Aerosol absorption depends on the mass, mixing state, chemical composition and the refractive index of the species present in the atmosphere.The ratio of Black Carbon to organic mass determines the colour of the particles which is in turn influenced by the burning conditions. Black carbon is dark in color and shows strong light absorbing capacity throughout the spectra.

UNEP’s Fire Ready Formula


The United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) called on global governments to adopt a new Fire Ready Formula, as it warned that incidences of wildfires would rise in the future.


GS III- Environment and Ecology

Dimensions of the Article:
  1. About Fire Ready Formula
  2. Need of such Formula
  3. United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP)

About Fire Ready Formula

The new formula envisages that 66 per cent of spending be devoted to planning, prevention, preparedness and recovery. The remaining 34 per cent can be spent on response.

New Fire Ready Formula focuses on planning and prevention  

Serial NoBudget itemPercentage share of the total on  wildfire management  recommended
1Planning1 %
2Prevention32 %
3Preparedness13 %
4Response34 %
5Recovery20 %

Need of such Formula:

  • The UNEP report also projected that the number of wildfires is likely to increase by up to 14 per cent by 2030.
  • It is projected to spike by 33 per cent by 2050. It would rise by 52 per cent by 2100.
  • The prevalence and behaviour of wildfires is changing due to numerous factors including, but not limited to, climate change. The UNEP report said this citing the most recent Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change report.
  • Change in land-use and land management practices are also responsible for the increasing risks of wildfires.
  • An increase in damaging wildfires may reverse or delay progress towards achieving the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), Paris Agreement and Sendai targets.
  • The changing scale and intensity of wildfires may especially impact achievements in developing countries, across several of the SDGs that impact human health and well-being. These include the SDG goals to end hunger, poverty and the goal on climate action too.
  • The Fire Ready Formula could help in achieving these goals, according to the UNEP.

United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP)

  • The United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) is a leading global environmental authority established in 1972 and Headquartered in Nairobi, Kenya.
  • It sets the global environmental agenda, promotes the sustainable development within the United Nations system, and serves as an authoritative advocate for global environment protection.

The UNEP Publishes:

  • Emission Gap Report,
  • Global Environment Outlook,
  • Frontiers,
  • Invest into Healthy Planet.


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