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HAL to supply weapons bay door to Boeing for P-8I aircraft

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The P-8I maritime reconnaissance aircraft. A Boeing Photo

NEW DELHI (BNS): American defence major Boeing has inked a deal with India’s Hindustan Aeronautics Limited under which the latter will provide weapons bay door for the eight P-8I long-range maritime reconnaissance and anti-submarine warfare aircraft India is acquiring from the US.

Under the $4.7 million contract, HAL will supply the first set of doors to Boeing by the end of 2010, Boeing announced here on Thursday.

“Although HAL provides other equipment for P-8I through its avionics division in Hyderabad, this is the first P-8I offset package that Boeing has directly executed with India's largest aerospace company,” Vivek Lall, vice president and India country head of Boeing Defense, Space & Security, said.

“We welcome HAL's technical expertise and capabilities as well as the opportunity to increase our partnership on P-8I,” he said.

Besides providing equipment for the P-8Is, HAL also supplies Boeing the gun bay doors and wire harnesses for the F/A-18E/F Super Hornet fighter aircraft and uplock boxes for 777 commercial airplane, Boeing said.

The P-8I is a variant of the P-8A Poseidon multi-mission maritime patrol aircraft. It is armed with torpedoes, depth bombs and Harpoon anti-ship missiles and is capable of anti-submarine warfare and anti-surface warfare.

The aircraft can also be used in search and rescue operations, maritime interdiction, long-range intelligence, surveillance, target acquisition and reconnaissance.

India became the first customer of the P-8I when it signed a $2.1 billion contract with the US in January 2009 to procure eight such aircraft.

The first aircraft is expected to be delivered to the Navy in 2013.

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