Boeing Gets India OK For Four More P-8I Maritime Planes

Dow Jones

India’s federal government has approved the purchase of four more P-8I long-range maritime patrol and anti-submarine warfare aircraft from Boeing Co., a senior executive at the U.S. defense contractor said Thursday.The company also expects India to sign a final agreement in the next few months for the purchase of 10 C-17 Globemaster III airlifters, Chris Chadwick, President of Boeing Military Aircraft, told Dow Jones Newswires.

Boeing and its U.S. rival, Lockheed Martin Corp., are vying with India’s traditional weapons supplier, Russia, and others such as France and Germany to capture a share of India’s lucrative market. Boeing expects India to buy defense equipment worth $31 billion over the next decade as the South Asian country buys new weapons to upgrade its Soviet-vintage equipment.

In October 2009 Boeing submitted initial bids to the Indian Air Force offering the AH-64D Apache Longbow attack helicopter and the CH-47F Chinook heavy-lift, twin-rotor helicopter.

The bids are in response to India seeking proposals from global companies to supply its air force with 22 combat helicopters and 15 heavy-lift helicopters.

Chadwick didn’t disclose the value of the deal for the four P-8I aircraft, but said the approval was given by India recently and the aircraft will be delivered after 2015.

The four P-8I planes will add to the eight ordered by India in January 2009 for $2.1 billion. The eight planes ordered initially will be delivered between January 2013 and December 2015 to the Indian Navy to strengthen its capabilities in the high seas.

Chadwick also said Boeing has responded to an initial request for information from India for six medium multi-role reconnaissance aircraft.

“We are offering a P-8I derivative for this [potential deal],” he said.

On the Indian Air Force contract for 126 combat planes, Chadwick said the deal is expected to be awarded later this year or early next year.

“I think with best intentions, the IAF will want to get to the finish line sooner rather than later, but what they want to ensure is that the process they take to the final selection is fair,” he said.

Six companies worldwide have been chosen to bid for the estimated $10 billion fighter jet contract, the largest in the world for 15 years.

Lockheed and Boeing are pitted against aircraft from United Aircraft Corp., France’s Dassault Aviation SA, pan-European manufacturer Eurofighter Typhoon Gmbh and Sweden’s Saab AB.

Chadwick said if Boeing is selected for the fighter jet contract, it is in a position to rapidly deliver the planes to India.

“We have the ability to provide a more rapid production approach for the IAF, should they choose to do it, that can get aircraft quicker into their inventory than they planned,” he said. “We can ramp up and still work with partners to deliver those quicker.”

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Posted by pilotpaul on Apr 2 2011. Filed under All News. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

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