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New Delhi [India], September 21 (ANI): Boeing Vice President Dan Gillian on Thursday said that discussions are ongoing with the Indian Navy about their desire to add additional P-8I aircraft to its fleet.

Speaking to ANI, Dan Gillian said, "So we're in continued discussions with the Indian Navy about their desire to add additional P-8I aircraft. That makes sense that they want to add additional aircraft because the 12 airplanes they have are performing well each and every day, accumulating more than 40,000 hours of flight time thus far.""I'll let the Indian Navy talk specifically about timelines for decisions, but we're honoured to continue to support the fleet and talk with them about bringing enhanced capacity and capability to the P-8I fleet," he added.

Adding that Boeing has worked extensively to grow and expand its supply chain over time in India, he said," Today, suppliers produce content on every P-8I delivered for both Indian Navy and Air Forces and Navies around the world. Our focus as we go forward is on establishing deeper MRO on sustainment capacity in the country in the interest of self-reliance." "We're already doing airframe Maintenance, Repair, and Overhaul (MRO) here in India on the P-8I aircraft. We have components that are done at the organic level and throughout the supply chain here in India. We want to expand on that in the interest of self-reliance for India," he added.

"The Indian Navy is the second largest operator. India and Australia are very close in numbers, all partnered with the US Navy. And it's part of the interconnected nature of P-8I. It's a great aircraft for partnership and collaboration. The P-8I is designed with a very open architecture mission system with the intent of bringing capabilities on board fast, responding to threats that evolve over time. That's how it stays at the forefront of technology for decades and decades to come," he further said.

The P-8I aircraft is equipped for long-range anti-submarine warfare, anti-surface warfare, intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance in support of broad area, maritime and littoral operations.

Boeing India Defense Pvt Ltd (BIDPL) leads the sustainment support of the Indian Navy's P8I fleet by providing training to Indian Navy flight crews, spare parts, ground supportequipment and field-service representative support.

Boeing said that it has promoted indigenization by working with Indian manufacturers to supply parts for the P-8I in India as well as common parts that are used by both the P-8 and the 737family.

BIDPL is leveraging the Boeing India Repair Development and Sustainment (BIRDS) Maintenance Repair and Overhaul (MRO) hub to grow indigenous capabilities in India in the areas of heavy maintenance and component repairs. P-8I represents the foremost example of BIRDS success with local capabilities being established and several planned in the future, the company said in a statement. (ANI)

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