India to issue maritime shortlist

The Indian navy is poised to announce the shortlist for its maritime reconnaissance aircraft contest “any day now”, says Boeing, which is offering a P-8I variant of its 737-based P-8A Multi-mission Maritime Aircraft now in development for the US Navy.

Other types in contention for the eight-aircraft programme include a special mission version of the Airbus A319/A320 from EADS, a package based on Dassault’s Falcon 900 business jet also backed by Israel Aerospace Industries, an improved version of the Ilyushin Il-38 and a refurbished P-3 Orion promoted by Lockheed Martin.

Boeing has urged the Indian government to broaden the rules of its offset policy related to the deal to allow companies to look across the nation’s aviation business, including both its defence and commercial aircraft activities. “The policy should be opened to the entire aerospace segment,” said Integrated Defense Systems president Jim Albaugh during a visit to India last week. “If done right, offsets will introduce more complex technology and processes that India doesn’t currently enjoy.”

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