Indian designed sensors delivered to Boeing for P-8I aircraft

Thursday, December 23, 2010

BANGALORE/NEW DELHI - State-run Bharat Electronics Ltd (BEL) has delivered to Boeing a key sensor to be fitted in P-8I long-range maritime patrol and anti-submarine warfare aircraft, being produced by the US aerospace major for the Indian Navy.

The Indian defence PSU delivered the Indian-designed Identification Friend or Foe Interrogator - a battle management system - last week, the aerospace major said in a statement Thursday. It will be installed by Boeing during P-8I’s final assembly at its facility in Washington.

“The sensor - identification friend or foe interrogator - is a battle management system, which enables the P-8I aircraft to distinguish friendly aircraft and forces,” Boeing Company said in a statement here.

Boeing Defence, Space and Security India vice-president Vivek Lall said: “The delivery of the sensor is another positive step in our industrial participation effort with India, as our partnership with BEL is in line with the Indian government’s objectives.”

India had signed a deal worth $2.1 billion in January 2009 with Boeing for procuring eight P-8I maritime surveillance aircraft to augment and replace its Russian-origin fleet.

India is the first international customer to acquire eight P-8I planes for its naval fleet from Boeing at a cost of $2.1 billion. The aircraft is a variant of the P-8A Poseidon the company built for the US Navy.

Boeing will deliver the first of eight P-8I aircraft to India by early 2013 — 48 months after the original contract signing.

BEL board member H.N. Ramakrishna said in the statement that the interrogator “demonstrates our capability in cutting-edge work in avionics, software and structural components”.

The P-8I aircraft also has BEL’s data link II communication system, speech secrecy system of the Hyderabad-based state-run Electronics Corporation of India Ltd (ECIL) and mobile satellite system of Avantel Ltd, a wireless systems maker based in Hyderabad.

“The P-8I’s unique capabilities are tailored to India’s maritime-patrol requirements. It has the reach and capability to defend India’s vast coastline and maritime waters,” Lall said.

As a leading defence electronics major, the Bangalore-based BEL designs, develops and manufactures a range of C4I (command, control, communications, computers and intelligence) solutions, radars and sonars, naval systems, and electronic warfare systems for the Indian defence services, paramilitary organisations and other state-run entities.

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