By Staff Correspondent
In line with India’s Aatmanirbhar Bharat—self-reliant India—initiative, Boeing has revealed significant progress in indigenisation of its P-8I maritime reconnaissance aircraft, a platform integral to the Indian Navy’s surveillance operations in the Indo-Pacific. The aerospace giant is projecting an upswing in economic impact and investment as it ramps local manufacturing and sustainment efforts for the P-8I.
A dozen P-8Is are operational with the Indian Navy and have contributed an estimated $1.7bn to the country’s economy. Boeing anticipates that an increase to an 18-strong fleet could augment investments by approximately $1.5bn and stimulate further local opportunities in India’s aerospace and defence sectors by the end of the decade.
“Boeing’s focus is unerringly aligned with advancing the Aatmanirbhar Bharat vision,” said Salil Gupte, President of Boeing India. “As we scale up our response to the Indian Navy’s augmented demand for more P-8I aircraft, we are keenly eyeing avenues to bolster engineering, manufacturing, and sustainment capabilities not just for India but also for our global customer base.”
Since its debut in 2013, the P-8I, built on Boeing’s 737 Next Generation platform, has logged over 40,000 flight hours and emerged as a cornerstone of the Indian Navy’s aerial capabilities. Boeing has been instrumental in establishing state-of-the-art training complexes in India designed to refine aircrew proficiency while augmenting the aircraft’s mission readiness.
Dan Gillian, VP and General Manager, Mobility, Surveillance and Bombers at Boeing Defense, Space & Security, underscored Boeing’s commitment to not only delivering a high-calibre, multi-mission aircraft but also to fulfilling maritime security prerequisites for India and the broader Indo-Pacific. “We’re keen to expand our supplier network within India, currently consisting of 15 Micro, Small & Medium Enterprises that are integral to Boeing’s global supply chain,” he added.
The P-8 series has seen global adoption, with over 160 operational units across key allies such as the United States, United Kingdom, Australia, New Zealand, Norway, South Korea, and Germany, amassing over half a million mishap-free flight hours globally.