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Flight test for India-bound P-8

July 12, 2012 at 1:19 PM

SEATTLE, July 12 (UPI) -- The first P-8 maritime patrol aircraft for the Indian navy has begun flight testing in Washington state, Boeing said.

In its first official flight test, the aircraft was flown for more than 3 hours and "all test objectives" were met.

Boeing is building the aircraft, a derivative of the P-8 Poseidon, under a contract it received from India in late 2009. Deliveries under the agreement are to begin next year.

A total of eight P-8I aircraft are being built for India.

"Today's flight is another on-time milestone for the program," said Leland Wight, Boeing P-8I program manager. "We'll start out testing the P-8I's mission system, which includes its sensors and communication systems. The team then will transition to 'stores' tests during which the P-8I will carry inert weapon shapes under its wings to demonstrate that the aircraft is capable of carrying all the weapons the Indian Navy will use during regular missions."

The long-range P-8 is based on Boeing's commercial 737 aircraft. It is used for surveillance and anti-submarine warfare. It features an open system architecture and advanced sensor and display technologies.

Among Boeing's team members for the P-8I are CFM International, Northrop Grumman, Raytheon, Spirit AeroSystems, BAE Systems and GE Aviation.

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