American defence major Boeing has delivered the second P-8I aircraft to India that is likely to boost the Indian Navy’s long-range maritime reconnaissance and anti-submarine warfare capabilities. Boeing, which is building eight P-8I aircrafts for India, delivered the first one in May.
Based on the company’s Next-Generation 737 commercial airplane, the P-8I is the Indian Navy variant of the P-8A Poseidon that Boeing has developed for the US Navy.
“With two aircraft at Naval Station Rajali now, the Indian Navy will get a good feel for the P-8I’s interoperability with other aircraft,” said Leland Wight, Boeing P-8I programme manager.
“Acceptance trials on the first aircraft are progressing well and its availability for testing has been excellent, in large part due to Boeing’s worldwide 737 support capabilities,” Mr. Wight said.
The aircraft delivered on Friday will begin flight trials in the coming months. The first P-8I recently completed testing its weapons capabilities, including successfully firing a Boeing Harpoon missile at a target and dropping a torpedo.
In order to efficiently design and build the P-8I and the P-8A, the Boeing-led team is using a first-in-industry, in-line production process that draws on the company’s Next-Generation 737 production system, a media release said.