US aerospace major Boeing on Thursday revealed its plan to enhance the engineering, manufacturing, and maintenance capabilities of the P-8I long-range maritime surveillance and anti-submarine warfare aircraft in India. This move is aimed at securing an extra order for six aircraft.
At present, the Indian Navy maintains a squadron of 12 P-8I aircraft. These aircraft are outfitted for extended-range anti-submarine missions, anti-surface warfare operations, intelligence gathering, surveillance, and reconnaissance tasks. They play a crucial role in supporting a wide range of maritime and littoral operations.
“Boeing’s commitment to advancing the Atmanirbhar Bharat vision drives our dedication to the P-8I fleet,” said Salil Gupte, President of Boeing India during a media interaction in the capital.
“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 added.
Boeing emphasized its commitment to fostering indigenization by collaborating with Indian manufacturers to provide components for the P-8I aircraft within India, including shared components utilized by both the P-8 and the 737 family of aircraft.
“We are in continued discussions with the Indian Navy about their desire to add additional P-8I aircraft. That makes sense that they want to add additional aircraft because the 12 aircraft they have are performing well each and every day, accumulating more than 40,000 hours of flight time thus far,” said Dan Gillian, Vice President and General Manager, Mobility, Surveillance and Bombers, Boeing Defense, Space & Security during the press conference.
“I will let the Indian Navy talk specifically about timelines for for decisions, but we are honoured to continue to support the fleet and talk with them about bringing enhanced capacity and capability to the P-8I fleet,” he further added.
Boeing, while unveiling its Atmanirbhar Bharat (self-reliant India) strategy, revealed that it has already made a significant economic contribution of $1.7 billion to bolster the Indian Navy’s existing P-8I aircraft fleet. Company representatives also noted that an additional order for these aircraft would result in an additional investment of $1.5 billion. This move would further enhance opportunities for indigenization within India’s aerospace and defence sector, with the aim of achieving these goals by 2032.