Home » Aviation » India Awards Boeing $1B Option for Four More P-8I Maritime Surveillance Aircraft


India Awards Boeing $1B Option for Four More P-8I Maritime Surveillance Aircraft

Boeing P-8I Maritime Patrol Aircraft

Boeing P-8I Maritime Patrol Aircraft

Boeing has been awarded a $1 billion contract option by the Indian government for four more of the company’s P-8I maritime surveillance aircraft, USNI News has learned.

The four P-8Is – based on the U.S. Navy’s P-8A Poseidon aircraft – follows a $2.1 billion 2009 initial deal for the eight of the aircraft. The option, built into the original deal, would add the four aircraft as a direct commercial sale, sources familiar with the option told USNI News on Wednesday.

The option to buy the quartet of aircraft was exercised in conjunction with a Wednesday visit to India by Frank Kendall, the Pentagon’s top acquisition official.
Officials with Boeing would not confirm the exercise of the option but noted reports of the Ministry of Defense’s expressed intent to pick up the four aircraft.

“The Indian Navy has been clear about their intent to exercise these options,” company spokeswoman Caroline Hutcheson told USNI News.
“We will defer to the MoD for any formal announcement.”
Based on Boeing’s 737 commercial airliner, India’s P-8 differs from the U.S. Navy configuration for the P-8 with the inclusion of an additional aft radar and a magnetic anomaly detector used to find submarines. Much of the configuration is informed by the “Make in India” initiative for domestically defense material. Following those standards, the aircraft will be built and outfitted at Boeing’s facilities outside of Seattle, Wash.

The P-8Is replace eight Soviet-era Tupelov Tu-142M Bear anti-submarine warfare (ASW) aircraft the Indian Navy bought in 1988.

India’s purchase of the P-8Is from a U.S. supplier was seen as a break with its relationship with Moscow – to date New Delhi’s chief supplier of military hardware.

In the last several years, India has put effort into increasing its ASW capability as China’s People’s Liberation Army Navy (PLAN) has pushed its submarine operations further west into the Indian Ocean. China is largely seen by New Delhi as India’s largest regional competitor.

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Categories: Aviation, Budget Industry, China, Foreign Forces, News & Analysis, U.S. Navy
Sam LaGrone

About Sam LaGrone

Sam LaGrone is the editor of USNI News. He was formerly the U.S. Maritime Correspondent for the Washington D.C. bureau of Jane’s Defence Weekly and Jane’s Navy International. He has covered legislation, acquisition and operations for the Sea Services and spent time underway with the U.S. Navy, U.S. Marine Corps and the Canadian Navy.

  • DaSaint

    Did not realize that our P8s didn’t have a MAD. That makes no senae to me.

    • delta9991

      The U.S. P-8’s don’t have a MAD due to how they’re meant to operate. U.S. operation has the P-8 fly at much higher altitude (where they can cruise efficiently and extend range/loiter time) to monitor a much larger field of sonobuoys and scan large sectors of ocean with its LSRS/APY-10 radar. The MAD boom is only effective at low altitude (think under 5000 or so feet compared to P-8’s cruising at 30k) and the aircraft must fly close to the sub and it must be near the surface. It is a tool in the toolbox for the Indians, but the U.S. doesn’t see its P-8’s venturing down above the water (even for torpedo delivery because of the new HAAWWC mod).

      • DaSaint

        Thanks for the profile overview. I get it, just didn’t think that it would have been eliminated completely as a tool in the toolbox.

  • Donald Carey

    Whatever happened to Hindi-Chini bhai-bhai? Oh wait – that was never more than wishful thinking…