The Indian Navy has received its fourth P-8I long-range maritime reconnaissance and anti-submarine warfare aircraft from Boeing.
Delivered as part of a contract awarded in January 2009 for eight P-8I aircraft, the latest jet joins the navy’s existing fleet of three P-8Is, which are currently going through operational assessment.
Boeing P-8I programme manager Leland Wight said: "The Indian Navy is putting the first three P-8Is through their paces operationally, and the P-8I delivered today will begin flight trials in the coming months."
Based on Boeing’s next-generation 737-800 aircraft, the P-8I is the Indian Navy variant of the US Navy’s P-8A Poseidon aircraft.
Powered by two CFM56-7 engines from CFM International, it is equipped with a directional infrared countermeasures (DIRCM) system and the electronic support measures (ESM) system, which defends the aircraft from incoming infrared-guided missiles.
Capable of accommodating a crew of nine, the patrol jet can cruise at a maximum speed of 789km/h and offers a maximum 2,222km range, while reaching an altitude of 12,496m.
Incorporating unique customised design features and India-built subsystems based on the country’s maritime patrol requirements, the P-8I incorporates advanced sensor and display technologies, in addition to open system architecture.
As well as protecting the vast coastline and territorial waters of India, the aircraft supports missions such as anti-submarine warfare (ASW), anti-surface warfare (ASUW), intelligence, maritime patrol, surveillance and reconnaissance.
It has been built by a Boeing-led industry team that includes CFM International, Northrop Grumman, Raytheon, Spirit AeroSystems, BAE Systems and GE Aviation.
Image: Boeing’s P-8I maritime patrol aircraft for the Indian Navy. Photo: courtesy of Boeing.