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MILTECH
Building Begins On Indian Navy's First P-8I Aircraft

File image.
by Staff Writers
Wichita KS (SPX) Dec 09, 2010
The Boeing P-8I team has begun fabricating the first part for the Indian navy's first long-range maritime reconnaissance and anti-submarine warfare aircraft on Dec. 6 in Wichita. 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.

Employees at Spirit AeroSystems - where all Boeing Next-Generation 737 fuselages, nacelles and pylons are designed and built - cut the P-8I's first part, a bonded aluminum panel that later will be installed on the fuselage's upper lobe to support an antenna. The panel and other fuselage components will come together on Spirit's existing Next-Generation 737 production line.

"Today marks the P-8I program's move from the design phase to the build phase," said Leland Wight, Boeing P-8I program manager. "We're on schedule and the Indian navy is looking forward to receiving its first plane."

Spirit will ship the P-8I fuselage to a Boeing Commercial Airplanes facility in Renton, Wash., in mid-2011 for final assembly. After that, Boeing Defense, Space and Security employees will install mission systems and complete testing prior to delivery to India.

"P-8I fuselage sections are designed and built using the same processes we use on the commercial 737," said Mike King, Spirit AeroSystems Fuselage Segment senior vice president/general manager. "We've built seven P-8A fuselages to date and continue to increase efficiency as we move forward."

Boeing will deliver the first of eight P-8I aircraft to India within 48 months of the original contract signing, which took place in January 2009. India is the first international customer for the P-8.

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 well into the future. The aircraft features open system architecture, advanced sensor and display technologies, and a worldwide base of suppliers, parts and support equipment.



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