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India bound P-8I aircraft completes 1st flight

The second P-8I aircraft for the Indian Navy. A Boeing photo.

WASHINGTON (PTI): The second of the eight Boeing P-8I long-range maritime reconnaissance and anti-submarine warfare aircraft being built for the Indian Navy has completed its initial flight.

The P-8I is a derivative of the Boeing Next-Generation 737-800 commercial airplane, and was tested on July 12, the company said in a statement Tuesday.

Boeing had successfully tested the first of the eight aircraft earlier this month.

"The programme is on plan and the Indian Navy is excited for the P-8I to join its fleet," said Leland Wight, P-8I programme manager for Boeing.

During the flight, Boeing test pilots performed airborne systems checks and took the P-8I to a maximum altitude of 41,000 feet prior to landing.

Boeing will begin mission systems installation and checkout work on the aircraft in the coming weeks, the statement said.

The aircraft is being built for India as part of a contract awarded in January 2009 and the Boeing-led team is on track to deliver the first aircraft to the Indian Navy in 2013, the company has said.

During the coming months, Boeing test pilots will put the P-8I through its paces over a US Navy test range west of Neah Bay, Washington, and a joint US/Canadian test range in the Strait of Georgia.

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 torpedoes.

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.

The P-8I features open system architecture, advanced sensor and display technologies, and a worldwide base of suppliers, parts and support equipment.

The aircraft are built by a Boeing-led industry team that includes CFM International, Northrop Grumman, Raytheon, Spirit AeroSystems, BAE Systems and GE Aviation.


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