Boeing Begins Production Of India’s First P-8I Navy Aircraft


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Boeing Begins Production Of India’s First P-8I Navy Aircraft

By Eddy Metcalf

December 8, 2010 - The Boeing P-8I team began fabricating the first part for the Indian navy's first long-range maritime reconnaissance and anti-submarine warfare aircraft on Monday 6 in Wichita. The P-8I, based on the Boeing Next-Generation 737 commercial airplane, is a variant of the P-8A Poseidon that Boeing is developing for the U.S. Navy. 

The Boeing P-8 Poseidon (formerly the Multimission Maritime Aircraft or MMA) It is intended to conduct anti-submarine warfare and shipping interdiction and to engage in an electronic intelligence (ELINT) role. This will involve carrying torpedoes, depth charges, AGM-84 Harpoon anti-ship missiles, and other weapons.  

It will also be able to drop and monitor sonobuoys. It is designed to operate in conjunction with the Broad Area Maritime Surveillance unmanned aerial vehicle. The P-8 is being developed by Boeing's Defense, Space, & Security division from the 737-800.

Employees at Spirit AeroSystems where all Boeing Next-Generation 737 fuselages, nacelles and pylons are designed and built cut the P-8I's first part, a bonded aluminum panel that later will be installed on the fuselage's upper lobe to support an antenna. The panel and other fuselage components will come together on Spirit's existing Next-Generation 737 production line. 

"Today marks the P-8I program's move from the design phase to the build phase," said Leland Wight, Boeing P-8I program manager. "We're on schedule and the Indian navy is looking forward to receiving its first plane." 

Spirit will ship the P-8I fuselage to a Boeing Commercial Airplanes facility in Renton, Wash., in mid-2011 for final assembly. After that, Boeing Defense, Space & Security employees will install mission systems and complete testing prior to delivery to India. 

"P-8I fuselage sections are designed and built using the same processes we use on the commercial 737," said Mike King, Spirit AeroSystems Fuselage Segment senior vice president/general manager. "We've built seven P-8A fuselages to date and continue to increase efficiency as we move forward."


Boeing will deliver the first of eight P-8I aircraft to India within 48 months of the original contract signing, which took place in January 2009. India is the first international customer for the P-8.

The P-8I will provide India with speed, reliability, persistence and room for growth to satisfy the country's maritime reconnaissance and anti-submarine warfare requirements now and well into the future. The aircraft features open system architecture, advanced sensor and display technologies, and a worldwide base of suppliers, parts and support equipment.

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