PICTURES: Boeing flies first P-8I for India

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Boeing gave a 2h 31min flight debut to the Indian navy's first P-8I maritime patrol and anti-submarine warfare aircraft on 28 September, with the 737-based type due to be handed over in 2013.

Carrying the registration IN320, the aircraft took off from Renton Field, Washington, and underwent a series of airborne systems checks before touching down at Boeing Field in Seattle. The company will begin installing its mission system equipment "in the coming weeks".

 

© Boeing

Boeing said its test pilots performed accelerations and decelerations of the 737's CFM International CFM56-7 engines and checked its autopilot flight modes during the first flight, which also included taking the aircraft to an altitude of 41,000ft (12,500m).

 

© Boeing

"Flying the first P-8 for an international customer is a key milestone for our entire team," said Boeing P-8I programme manager Leland Wight. "We have transitioned to P-8I production, and remain on track to deliver the first aircraft to the Indian navy in 2013."

"We are looking forward to this potent platform joining the Indian navy," said Rear Adm D M Sudan, the service's assistant chief of naval staff (air). The navy will receive eight P-8Is as replacements for its Tupolev Tu-142s, and has an option to increase its order by a further four examples.