New Delhi (Agencies): Amid sharp focus on aerial maritime surveillance, the Navy is planning to induct nine amphibious aircraft to keep a vigil over the Andaman and Nicobar and Lakshadweep islands.

"We would use the amphibious aircraft for carrying out search and rescue missions, inter-island communication, rapid response missions and reconnaissance of islands," said a Navy official.

The process to procure the aircraft, which can take-off and land on either land or water, has already been initiated with the issuing of a global Request for Information (RFI) by the Defence Ministry.

Post 26/11 attacks, the Navy and the Coast Guard have taken different steps to ensure that Pakistan-based terror groups such as Lashkar-e-Toiba, or sea pirates don't use the uninhabited islands to launch attacks against India.

The aircraft would also be utilised for "inter-island ferry for personnel and cargo, long-range search and rescue missions, visual and radar surveillance of coastal areas and island territories," the official said.

The capability of the aircraft to land on water would also help us to carry out casualty evacuation operations, supply critical spares to units and respond rapidly for humanitarian assistance missions at sea.

The Navy wants an aircraft which should have a short take-off capability with a range of at least 800 nautical miles so that they can cover up a long range, the official said.

Canadian Bombardier and Russian Beriev are expected to receive the Request for Proposal (RFP), which is likely to be issued by the Navy soon.

Recently, India has enhanced its focus on increasing aerial vigilance over its huge maritime zone and islands situated there.