New Delhi: US defence major Boeing has
started work on the first P-8I long-range maritime
reconnaissance and anti-submarine warfare aircraft for the
"The Boeing P-8I team began fabricating the first part
for the Indian Navy aircraft on December 6 at Wichita, Kansas.
This is an important milestone in the programme as we enter
the build phase from the design phase," Boeing Defence, Space
and Security Vice President Vivek Lall said here.
He said the US Navy was investing USD 4.4 billion to
design and demonstrate the mission systems of the P-8
programme and the mission systems in the P-8I aircraft meet
the requirements of the Indian Navy.
Lall said that during his recent US visit, Indian Navy
chief Admiral Nirmal Verma was also given an update on the
As part of the USD 2.1 billion deal signed on January
1 last year, India had placed orders for eight P-8Is, which
are variant of the P-8A Poseidon that Boeing is developing for
the US Navy. After placing the initial order, India is also
going to order four more aircraft.
Under the agreement, Boeing will supply the first
aircraft in 2013 and the remaining would be inducted by the
end of 2015.
"We are on schedule and the Indian navy is looking
forward to receiving its first plane," Boeing P-8I program
manager Leland Wight said.
The P-8I is likely to replace the Indian Navy fleet of
Russian-origin Tu-142 and Il-38 aircraft for maritime