The Indian navy’s first of eight Boeing P-8I maritime reconnaissance and anti-submarine warfare aircraft has touched down at the service’s Rajali naval air station, with more of the 737-based type scheduled to follow during 2013.
“We’re on track to deliver the next two P-8I aircraft later this year,” says Boeing Military Aircraft president Chris Chadwick, who hailed the company’s on-schedule achievement with transferring the first example. Carrying the registration IN321, this had been formally accepted by the Indian navy at its Seattle site in December 2012.
A further development of the P-8A Poseidon created for the US Navy, the Indian derivative has unique features including a belly-mounted radar.
New Delhi signed for its P-8I acquisition in 2009, with the deal worth around $3.9 billion. Once in frontline use, the type will replace its navy’s aged fleet of Tupolev Tu-142s.