June 19 (UPI) -- Boeing has been awarded a three-year contract to continue it's logistical support of the Indian navy's P-8I maritime patrol aircraft.
The contract includes field logistical representatives, engineering, planning, and material support for the 737-based airframe and other systems.
"With this contract, the Indian navy can be assured of achieving exceptional operational capability and readiness of the P-8I fleet." Pratyush Kumar, president of Boeing India and vice president of Boeing International, said in a press release.
The recently established Boeing Defense India will be the service deliverer. The Indian navy currently fields a fleet of eight P-8I aircraft based out of Indian Naval Station Rajali, with Boeing expected to deliver four more of the aircraft starting in 2020.
"This contract will substantially bolster Boeing's performance-based support to the Indian Navy and should maintain or increase the operational capability of the eight-aircraft fleet," said Stephen Schmidt, P-8I sustainment program manager.
The P-8I is the Indian navy's version of the P-8 Poseidon maritime intelligence, reconnaissance, and anti-submarine aircraft used by the U.S. Navy. The U.S. version will be replacing the Navy's older P-3 Orion series of patrol and anti-submarine aircraft. Based on the Boeing 737, it has a crew of nine and a flight radius of 1400 miles with four hours on station.
The aircraft carries passive sonar systems through sonaboy, synthetic aperture radar,high resolution optical and infrared sensors, and a magnetic anomaly detector to locate enemy submarines. It can be armed with torpedoes and missiles for anti-submarine and anti-surface ship warfare. The U.S. Navy operates 50 P-8s and is expected to eventually field 117.