The Indian Navy has taken delivery of its fifth P-8I long-range maritime reconnaissance and anti-submarine warfare aircraft from Boeing, which would support the navy’s maritime patrol requirements.
Delivered as part of a deal signed in January 2009 for eight P-8I aircraft, the latest aircraft joins the navy’s already existing fleet of four P-8Is, which are currently undergoing operational review.
Indian Navy naval staff deputy chief vice admiral RK Pattanaik said: "The P-8I programme is progressing on schedule, and the aircraft are providing the capabilities to meet our maritime reconnaissance and anti-submarine warfare requirements."
Powered by CFM International’s two CFM56-7 engines, the aircraft features a directional infrared countermeasures (DIRCM) system and the electronic support measures (ESM) system, which safeguard the jet from approaching infrared-guided missiles.
Based on Boeing’s Next-Generation 737 commercial aircraft, the Indian navy version of the US navy’s P-8A Poseidon jet integrates Indian-built sub-systems that are customised to meet the country’s maritime patrol necessities.
Boeing Defense, Space and Security (BDS) India vice-president Dennis Swanson said: "This is another important milestone for the programme and we look forward to continuing our great relationship with India.
"We’ll deliver one more P-8I before the end of the year, followed by two in 2015."
Incorporating advanced sensor and display technologies, in addition to open system architecture, the aircraft supports missions including anti-submarine warfare (ASW), anti-surface warfare (ASUW), intelligence, maritime patrol, surveillance and reconnaissance.
Boeing P-8 international programme manager Mark Jordan said: "We appreciate that senior representatives of the Indian Navy were with us in Seattle to participate in delivery activities and watch the plane take off for Rajali.
"It’s a great accomplishment for the entire team, and we’re hard at work assembling and testing the next P-8I in line for delivery."
The aircraft has been built by a Boeing-led industry team including CFM International, Northrop Grumman, Raytheon, Spirit AeroSystems, BAE Systems and GE Aviation.
Image: Indian Navy’s fifth Boeing P-8I maritime patrol aircraft taking off during its delivery. Photo: courtesy of Boeing.