Boeing has begun final assembly of India's first P-8I maritime patrol aircraft at its Renton factory in Washington, following delivery of the fuselage from subcontractor Spirit AeroSystems.

India will receive eight P-8Is, a variant of the 737-based P-8A under development for the US Navy.

 P-8I assembly - Boeing
© Boeing

Though Boeing's F/A-18E/F Super Hornet was not shortlisted in India's medium multi-role combat aircraft competition, the company's defence unit is enjoying a successful 2011 in the subcontinent. India recently confirmed it would buy 10 C-17 strategic transport aircraft for $4.1 billion. Boeing's CH-47 Chinook and Apache AH-64 are also involved in helicopter competitions in the country.

"The P-8I is a result of a close partnership between Boeing's commercial and defence units to deliver the latest and best maritime reconnaissance capability to the world," said Dinesh Keskar, president of Boeing India. "This agreement highlights the true commitment Boeing has toward India."

Source: Flight Daily News