The P-8I is one of eight long-range maritime
reconnaissance and anti-submarine warfare aircraft
Boeing is building for India as part of a contract
awarded in January 2009. During the coming months,
Boeing test pilots will put the P-8I, a Next-Generation
737-800 derivative, through its paces over a U.S.
Navy test range west of Neah Bay, Wash., and a
joint U.S./Canadian test range in the Strait of
"Today's flight is another on-time milestone
for the program," said Leland Wight, Boeing
P-8I program manager. "We'll start out testing
the P-8I's mission system, which includes its
sensors and communication systems. The team then
will transition to 'stores' tests during which
the P-8I will carry inert weapon shapes under
its wings to demonstrate that the aircraft is
capable of carrying all the weapons the Indian
Navy will use during regular missions."
The stores the P-8I will carry will have the
identical shape and size of real weapons, including
the Harpoon anti-ship missile, depth bombs and
"This is an important milestone for the
program and sets the stage for operational testing
and weapons certification as we move closer to
P-8I aircraft joining the Indian Navy," said
Rear Adm. DM Sudan, Assistant Chief of Naval Staff
(Air), Indian Navy.
Indian naval officers, who are monitoring the
progress of the project, were at hand to witness
the flight, reliable sources told India
P-8I flight and weapons testing follows on the
heels of similar testing for the U.S. Navy's P-8A
Poseidon. P-8I is a variant of the Poseidon.
In order to efficiently design and build the
P-8I and the P-8A, the Boeing-led team is using
a first-in-industry, in-line production process
that draws on the company's Next-Generation 737
production system. Assembly is complete on the
second P-8I aircraft and it will make its first
flight in the coming weeks.
The P-8I features open system architecture,
advanced sensor and display technologies, and
a worldwide base of suppliers, parts and support
equipment. P-8I aircraft are built by a Boeing-led
industry team that includes CFM International,
Northrop Grumman, Raytheon, Spirit AeroSystems,
BAE Systems and GE Aviation.
The Boeing-led team is on track to deliver the
first aircraft to the Indian Navy in 2013.