The first Boeing P-8I long-range maritime patrol aircraft for the Indian navy is being readied for its initial flight, targeted by the end of the month. The aircraft is the first of up to 12 to be built at Boeing’s Renton, Wash., site, assuming a follow-on order for four aircraft is formally signed by the Indian government. Should the final batch of four be added to the eight already under contract, the combined order is estimated to be worth $3.1 billion. Following a development and training program lasting just over one year, the first P-8I will be delivered in January 2013. Photo credit: Joe Walker
Expected to be known as the Neptune, the Indian P-8I is based on the U.S. Navy P-8 Poseidon, which is also due to reach initial operational capability in 2013. Distinguishing the Indian version from its U.S. counterpart is the CAE-supplied AN/ASQ-508A magnetic anomaly detector, seen here projecting aft (circled) from above the APU exhaust in the tail cone.