Boeing began final assembly of the Indian navy's first P-8I long-range maritime reconnaissance aircraft this month at the company's Renton factory.
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 start of assembly work follows delivery of the plane's fuselage from teammate Spirit AeroSystems on May 29. Boeing workers have begun installing systems, wires and other small parts onto the fuselage. The P-8I's engines and wings will be installed later this summer.
"The P-8I is a result of a close partnership between Boeing's commercial and defense units to deliver the latest and best maritime reconnaissance capability to the world," said Dinesh Keskar, president, Boeing India. "This agreement highlights the true commitment Boeing has toward India."
"India is our first international customer for the P-8 and we are committed to delivering this aircraft on time," said Chuck Dabundo, Boeing vice president and P-8 program manager. "The timely start of assembly and our in-line production process will allow us to meet our goal and incorporate significant efficiencies as we move forward on the program."
Boeing was selected on the basis of a global tender by the government of India. The contract for procurement of eight P-8I aircraft, with an option for four additional aircraft, was signed on Jan. 1, 2009.
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 into the future. The aircraft features open system architecture, advanced sensor and display technologies, and a worldwide base of suppliers, parts and support equipment.