Boeing rolls out P-8A Poseidon; India to be the first buyer

Boeing rolls out P-8A Poseidon; India to be the first buyer

Boeing's P-8A PoseidonIndia has ordered eight P-8Is, a derivative of the American version, the first of which Boeing will deliver within 48 months of the contract being signed. The rest seven aircraft would be delivered by 2015, filling a wide gap in India's maritime reconnaissance capability, hit by crashes of its Russian built aircraft.

The Indian RFP (request for proposal) which is awaiting a formal nod from the Cabinet Committee on Security calls for delivery of eight aircraft over a four-year period.

Though the Indian version is a variant of the just rolled out P-8A Poseidon, Boeing officials said the mission system of the Indian aircraft have been made to address the unique requirements tailored by the Indian Navy.

"In fact, the Indian variant of the world's newest aircraft leverages a great deal of the work done on the American aircraft," the officials said.

Boeing officials also said though the two Navy's requirements differ and so do the mission systems, but the Indian variant efforts have been made to capture as much cost-savings as possible for the Indian Navy.

P-8A, which was rolled out from Renton, Washington facility of Boeing, is a derivative of the Next-Generation 737-800, and is a long-range anti-submarine warfare, anti- surface warfare, intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance aircraft capable of broad-area, maritime and littoral operations.

The US Navy is making a multi-billion investment to design and demonstrate the mission systems it requires to conduct the worldwide missions of the P-8A.

"The P-8A Poseidon will equip the US Navy with the most advanced multi-mission maritime patrol and reconnaissance aircraft in the world," said Jim Albaugh, president and CEO of Boeing Integrated Defence Systems.

"The Poseidon is also the latest in a decades-long Boeing tradition of working closely with the Navy and other customers to deliver a wide range of platforms that meet their most critical mission requirements," he said.

The first production contracted is expected in 2010. Boeing says that the Navy plans to buy 117 P-8As to replace its fleet of P-3C aircraft.

Operational capability is scheduled for 2013.

As the replacement for the Navy's P-3C Orion aircraft, the P-8A will provide greater payload capacity, significant growth potential, unprecedented flexibility and interoperability, and advanced mission systems, software and communications, Boeing said.

"The P-8A programme is an outstanding example of evolutionary acquisition at work," said Capt. Mike Moran, U.S. Navy Maritime Patrol and Reconnaissance Aircraft programme manager.

"The team has worked hard to stay on schedule and within cost in this development effort, and we all should be extremely proud of the results," he said.

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