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Boeing comes out with 'Aatmanirbhar Bharat' approach for P-8I aircraft; eyes additional orders

The P-8I long-range maritime surveillance and anti-submarine warfare aircraft of Indian Navy. (File photo)

NEW DELHI (PTI): US aerospace major Boeing on Thursday outlined its plan for enhancing engineering, manufacturing, and sustainment capabilities of the P-8I long-range maritime surveillance and anti-submarine warfare aircraft in India, eyeing an additional order of six planes.

At present, the Indian Navy has 12 P-8I aircraft.

The company said it had already generated a substantial economic impact, amounting to USD 1.7 billion to support the current P-8I aircraft fleet in service with the Indian Navy.

Boeing said it envisions that increasing the P-8I fleet to 18 aircraft will increase investments, approximately USD 1.5 billion, while creating further indigenisation opportunities within India's aerospace and defence sector by 2032.

"Boeing's commitment to advancing the Aatmanirbhar Bharat vision drives our dedication to the P-8I fleet," said Salil Gupte, president of Boeing India.

"As we respond to the Indian Navy's need for more P-8I aircraft, we are actively looking to enhance engineering, manufacturing, and sustainment capabilities in India, for India, and the world, benefiting both Indian and global customers," he said at a media briefing.

Since its induction in 2013, the P-8I aircraft, based on the 737 next generation platform, has become an integral part of Indian Navy's fleet and has surpassed 40,000 flight hours with high mission readiness rates.

Boeing played a pivotal role in establishing the Ashok Roy Training Simulator Complex at INS Rajali, and the Kochi training complex, inaugurated in April this year, officials of the company said.

They said this ground-based training reduces on-aircraft training time, boosting mission proficiency and aircraft availability for the Indian Navy.

"We're proud to partner with the Indian Navy on the exceptional capability that the P-8 delivers as a proven multi-mission aircraft while enhancing the interoperability and maritime security requirements for India and the Indo-Pacific," said Dan Gillian, vice president and general manager, Mobility, Surveillance and Bombers, Boeing Defense, Space and Security.

"Boeing is also committed to expanding its P-8 supplier network in India, which presently includes 15 public and private Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises that are part of Boeing's global supply chain and are delivering critical parts, components, and services for the P-8." The P-8 global fleet totals over 160 aircraft that have accumulated more than 500,000 mishap-free flight hours around the globe, Boeing said.

Besides India, the aircraft is being operated by the United States, the United Kingdom, Australia, New Zealand, Norway, South Korea, and Germany.

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