Boeing P-8I aircraft for Indian Navy completes first flight

Boeing P-8I aircraft
Bangalore,Sep 29: Boeing's first long-range maritime reconnaissance and anti-submarine warfare aircraft P-8I for the Indian Navy completed its initial flight today (Sept 29) at the Boeing Field in Seattle, the company said.

During the flight lasting two hours and 31 minutes, Boeing test pilots performed airborne systems checks and took the P-8I to a maximum altitude of 41,000 feet prior to landing, Boeing said in a statement here.

In the coming weeks, Boeing will begin mission systems installation and checkout work on the aircraft at a company facility near Boeing Field.

"The P-8I programme is progressing well and we are looking forward to this potent platform joining the Indian Navy as part of its fleet," Rear Admiral D M Sudan, Assistant Chief of Naval Staff (Air), Indian Navy, was quoted as saying.

"The P-8I will provide India with the necessary speed and reliability to satisfy the Indian Navy's maritime reconnaissance and anti-submarine warfare requirements," Boeing India President Dinesh Keskar said.

Based on the Boeing Next-Generation 737 commercial airplane, the P-8I is the Indian Navy variant of the P-8A Poseidon that Boeing is developing for the US Navy, he added.

Leland Wight, Boeing P-8I programme manager, said: "We have transitioned to P-8I production, and remain on track to deliver the first aircraft to the Indian Navy in 2013."

The P-8I is the first of eight long-range maritime reconnaissance and anti-submarine warfare aircraft Boeing is building for India as part of a contract awarded in January 2009. An option for four additional P-8I aircraft was included in the original contract, Boeing said.


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