Employees at Spirit AeroSystems — where all Boeing Next-Generation 737 fuselages, nacelles and pylons are designed and built — cut the P-8I’s first part, a bonded aluminum panel that later will be installed on the fuselage’s upper lobe to support an antenna. The panel and other fuselage components will come together on Spirit’s existing Next-Generation 737 production line.
Spirit will ship the P-8I fuselage to a Boeing Commercial Airplanes facility in Renton, Wash., in mid-2011 for final assembly. After that, Boeing Defense, Space & Security employees will install mission systems and complete testing prior to delivery to India.
Boeing will deliver the first of eight P-8I aircraft to India within 48 months of the original contract signing, which took place in January 2009. India is the first international customer for the P-8