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Boeing gets India-made equipment for P-8I aircraft

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The P-8I maritime patrol aircraft.

NEW DELHI (PTI): US defence major Boeing on Wednesday said it has received first Indian-made technology for installation on Indian Navy’s P-8I surveillance aircraft to enable exchange of data and messages between aircraft, ships and shore-based assets.

The Indian-designed Data Link II, delivered by Bharat Electronics Limited in April, one month ahead of schedule, is the first Indian-manufactured item delivered to Boeing as part of the P-8I programme, Boeing officials said here.

India signed a deal worth $ 2.1 billion on January 01, 2009 with Boeing to acquire eight P-8I maritime surveillance aircraft to augment and replace its Russian-origin fleet.

The Data Link-II will be installed on the P-8I during its final assembly at the Boeing facility in Renton, Seattle.

“Our deepening partnership with Bharat Electronics Limited endorses our ongoing initiative to build and strengthen the aerospace supply chain,” Boeing India President Dinesh Keskar said.

Noting that Data Link II represented the first P-8I industrial participation project by the company in the area of avionics systems, Boeing Defence, Space and Security India head Vivek Lall said, “Boeing contracted BEL in August 2009 to build this critical communications technology, and they have done an outstanding job by delivering on their commitment.”

BEL Chairman Ashwani Kumar Datt said on the occasion that the milestone was a demonstration of BEL’s capability to deliver cutting-edge work in avionics, software and structural components.

BEL will deliver the last of the Data Link components in late 2011.

Boeing is expected to deliver the first of the eight P-8I aircraft to the Navy by 2013. India is the first international customer for the P-8 programme of the US.

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