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Indian Navy's first Boeing P-8I maritime recce aircraft to fly soon news
27 September 2011

Boeing will soon conduct the first flight of a 737-800-based P-8I maritime patrol aircraft intended for the Indian Navy (IN), with the first unit emerging from the manufacturer's Renton Field assembly site in Washington.

The first Indian Navy P-8I Poseidon derivative. Image: Brandon FarrisPhotographed at the facility early this month by a private aerospace enthusiast, (Image: Brandon Farris), the aircraft has emerged painted in Indian markings and assigned the registration IN320.

It is the first of eight IN P-8Is on order. The Boeing fleet will replace the Indian Navy's current Tupolev Tu-142 turboprops.

Derived from the P-8A Poseidon, now in development testing for the US Navy, India's next-generation maritime surveillance aircraft is scheduled to enter operational service sometime early 2013.

The Indian derivative will differ from the USN version primarily through the addition of a belly-mounted radar, which, combined with other sensors, will provide a 360 surveillance capability against airborne targets.

Also on order of the P-8I are 32 Raytheon Mk54 lightweight torpedoes worth $86 million.

The first USN P-8A flew from the Renton Field in July.

India is not only the first, but so far, the only foreign buyer for the 737 derivative.

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Indian Navy's first Boeing P-8I maritime recce aircraft to fly soon