Wednesday, December 08, 2010


BY CHRISTOPHER P. CAVAS |PUBLISHED: 7 DEC 2010 17:23 Fabrication of the first P-8I maritime patrol aircraft for India began Dec. 6at a Boeing facility in Wichita, Kan.,the company reported. The aircraft is the first of eight that will be built for the Indian Navy - the first international customer for the new plane.Boeing is developing the P-8APoseidon long-range maritime reconnaissance and anti-submarine warfare aircraft for the U.S. Navy,and the first three test and development planes are undergoing tests at Naval Air Station Patuxent River, Md. Two more test aircraft are to be delivered next year, and the Poseidon is expected to reach initial operational capability in 2013. The P-8 will eventually replace the venerable Lockheed P-3 Orion in U.S.service.India signed its deal with Boeing foreight P-8Is on Jan. 1, 2009, and the final design review was completed inJuly of this year. The first aircraft is due for delivery by January 2013,with the remaining seven to comeby 2015.The P-8 is based on the Boeing Next-Generation 737 passenger jet.Construction of the P-8 fuselage begins with all other 737s on the assembly line at Spirit Aero Systemsin Wichita. The fuselages are thenshipped to Boeing's facility in Renton,Wash., for final assembly. Aircraft quality and flight testing will takeplace at Boeing Field in Seattle,Wash.Boeing has not revealed the valueof the P-8 contract with India,although the Indian press has reported the figure to be around $2.1 billion. India also has not confirmed a name for the new aircraft, but some press reports have called it the Albatross.Boeing is expanding its presence in India in both the civil aviation and defense markets. An indigenous supply chain is being established,and, according to the company, a new research and technology center has opened in Bengaluru - formerly Bangalore - to collaborate with India's technical talent for research in aero structures, materials and network systems.

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