First P-8s for Export Going to India
India became the first export customer for the Boeing P-8 Poseidon maritime patrol aircraft. Unusually, Boeing clinched the sale of eight aircraft on commercial rather than FMS terms, and persuaded India to commit even before the P-8’s first flight. According to The Times of India, the sale is worth $2.1 billion, more than twice the value of the 2007 deal to buy six C-130Js, which was India’s previous biggest-ever defense buy from the U.S. Boeing said that the P-8 would provide India with speed, reliability, persistence and room for growth. The P-8I version will be armed with torpedoes, depth charges and Boeing’s AGM-84L Harpoon anti-ship missile, which is the subject of a separate $170 million purchase. The aircraft will be delivered from late 2012/early 2013 through 2015. India’s P-8s will replace eight ageing Tupolev Tu-142M four-engine turboprop aircraft.