The first of the Indian Navy’s eight P-8i long-range maritime reconnaissance and anti-submarine warfare aircraft, ordered on manufacturer Boeing back in January 2009, completed its first flight earlier this morning.
During the flight, Boeing test pilots performed airborne systems checks including engine accelerations and decelerations and autopilot flight modes, and took the P-8I to a maximum altitude of 41,000 feet prior to landing. In the coming weeks Boeing will begin mission systems installation and checkout work on the aircraft at a company facility near Boeing Field.
The P-8i is the Indian Navy variant of the U.S. Navy’s potent P-8A Poseidon, a long-range maritime reconnaissance and anti-submarine warfare aircraft based on the Boeing Next-Generation 737 commercial airplane. Boeing is expected to commence delivery of the P-8i to the Indian Navy in 2013. The original contract for eight aircraft includes an option for four more aircraft.
In addition to the P-8i order, Boeing has an order from the Indian Air Force for the C-17 Globemaster III for its strategic and tactical airlift needs and is in negotiation with the Indian Defence Ministry for its AH-64D Apache Longbow attack helicopter.