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Boeing may sell India modified maritime aircraft

The deal would enable India to increase its maritime reconnaissance and coastal patrol capabilities substantially.

india Updated: Apr 20, 2006 22:32 IST

Boeing may sell as many as eight modified versions of the P-8A Multi-mission Maritime Aircraft (MMA) to India over a period of four years, according to reports.

Under a request for proposals announced by India, bids would have been submitted and the first of the deliveries would occur within 48 months of the award of the contract, said a report in a defence journal.

"Boeing's proposal includes the development of a unique Indian Navy P-8 configuration, a significant participation for Indian industry, test and certification activities and eight aircraft delivered over a four year period", the company has said, according to the report.

Picking the MMA would enable India to increase its maritime reconnaissance, submarine hunting and coastal patrol capabilities substantially, it said, but added that Boeing is expected to face competition for the Indian contract.

The MMA is based on the Boeing 737-800 commercial airliner featuring twin CFM56-7 jet engines by General Electric.

"We have proposed a unique system that will enhance the capability of the Indian Navy in anti-submarine and anti-surface warfare" said Rick Buck, the Boeing programme manager for P-8A international programmes.

"The increased range, speed, radius of action and advanced combat power inherent in our 21st century solution will enable the Indian Navy to fully patrol and influence events in its entire operational region.

"Additionally, the commonality inherent in our solution will greatly enhance the interoperability and supportability objectives publicly supported by both the US and Indian navies," the report quoted him as saying.

First Published: Apr 20, 2006 22:32 IST