India’s next four Poseidon-8I long-range maritime surveillance and anti-submarine warfare aircraft could come fitted with domestically-made composite interior panels.
Tata Advanced Materials Ltd (TAML), a subsidiary of Tata Industries, has been awarded a contract from Boeing to provide composite interior closeout panels for the P-8 aircraft that cover the interior wall structure of the aircraft, a statement from the Tatas said.
The contract entails supplying interior panels on a global basis. However, industry sources said it is not clear if the Indian version of the aircraft would come fitted with TAML-made panels as they are not the sole providers.
The P-8 is designed for long-range anti-submarine and anti-surface warfare as well as armed intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance missions.India had on July 27 signed an over USD 1-billion deal with American defence and aerospace major Boeing for procuring four additional Poseidon-8I. The contract is a follow-on order to eight P-81 planes already bought by India in a direct deal worth USD 2.1 billion with the firm.
Armed with deadly Harpoon missiles, light-weight torpedoes and rockets, among others, the Navy is extensively using the P-8I to keep a strict vigil over the Indian Ocean, which has seen numerous Chinese submarine forays, including docking of a nuclear sub in Sri Lanka.
TAML is currently under contract to manufacture the P-8 tail cone and auxiliary power unit door fairing out of India.
Additionally, TAML works for Dynamatic Technologies Ltd in support of the CH-47F Chinook, a medium-to-heavy lift helicopter and for P-8 cabinets.
Boeing and Tata Advanced Systems Ltd have established a joint venture in India to produce AH-64 Apache fuselages, coproduce aero structures and pursue integrated systems development opportunities in India.