PICTURES: India's second P-8I makes flight debut, as testing advances

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India's second 737-based P-8I maritime reconnaissance and anti-submarine warfare aircraft has completed its flight debut, with Boeing to install its mission system equipment in the coming weeks.

Already carrying the Indian navy registration IN 321, the new aircraft was flown from Renton Field to Boeing Field in Seattle, Washington, on 12 July, with the sortie lasting 2h and 14min.

indian p-8i poseidon boeing

 Boeing

"Boeing test pilots performed airborne systems checks and took the P-8I to a maximum altitude of 41,000ft [12,500m] prior to landing," the company says. The event occurred five days after it had also launched official flight testing of the type from Seattle using aircraft IN 320.

 

Boeing

"The programme is on plan," says Boeing P-8I programme manager Leland Wight, referring to an eight-aircraft deal to replace the Indian navy's Tupolev Tu-142s. Deliveries will commence in 2013.

"During the coming months, Boeing test pilots will put the P-8I through its paces over a US Navy test range west of Neah Bay, Washington, and a joint US/Canadian test range in the Strait of Georgia," the company says. The process will include mission system tests and the carriage of inert weapon shapes under the 737's wings.