Boeing has announced it has commenced fabrication of the first 737 based P-8I for the Indian Navy.
The work, conducted at Spirit AeroSystems in Wichita, Kansas, comprised the fabrication of an aluminium panel which will be installed on the aircraft’s upper fuselage. All 737 fuselages are built at Spirit before being shipped to Renton in Seattle for final assembly.
“Today marks the P-8I program’s move from the design phase to the build phase,” said Leland Wight, Boeing P-8I program manager. “We’re on schedule and the Indian Navy is looking forward to receiving its first plane.”
“P-8I fuselage sections are designed and built using the same processes we use on the commercial 737,” added Mike King, Spirit AeroSystems Fuselage Segment senior vice president/general manager. “We’ve built seven P-8A fuselages to date and continue to increase efficiency as we move forward.”
The first P-8I fuselage will be shipped to Renton in mid 2011, and the first complete aircraft is scheduled to be delivered to India in early 2013.