Indian Navy receives sixth P-8I from Air Works

Indian MRO and aviation services and solutions major – Air Works – has handed over the last of the six P-8I maritime patrol aircraft after completing Phase 32 maintenance checks to Boeing and the Indian Navy. The heavy maintenance of these aircraft was successfully completed at the Air Works facility at Hosur, Tamil Nadu.

Air Works and Boeing signed a strategic collaboration in 2021 for the MRO of two critical Boeing defence platforms in India – the P-8I operated by the Indian Navy (IN) and the VIP transport fleet (BBJ) operated by the Indian Air Force (IAF).

Indian Navy receives sixth P-8I from Air Works

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Three Indian Navy Boeing P8Is are simultaneously undergoing heavy maintenance checks at the Hosur facility of Air Works, India’s largest aviation MRO, to demonstrate the growing capability to service these mission-critical platforms in India. 

“We are grateful to both Boeing and the Indian Navy for their trust in Air Works to deliver on such a unique and mission-critical project for the very first time in the country. Not only has every successful inspection increased our confidence of managing such intricate and specialized projects on behalf of our defense forces, but the fact that we have been able to value add with our ingenuity and decades-long experience to enhance the quality of maintenance of these premium assets, has particularly boosted our motivation and self-assurance. This is an incredibly proud moment for the everyone at Air Works, especially the P-8I project team – who have transformed their ardent passion into a brilliant outcome, and we look forward to expanding our collaboration horizon.

One of the key learning of this project has been that aviation & aerospace OEMs must take a leaf from Boeing’s BIRDS hub initiative and partner with domestic MROs like Air Works, to successfully realize the Government’s Make-in-India program, to scale up local maintenance capabilities and ensure that more and more maintenance assignments – irrespective of their complexity or their nature – civil or defense – are undertaken within the country, for cost effectiveness and to create a strategic depth.”

D Anand Bhaskar, Managing Director & CEO, Air Works Group

Under this collaboration, three P-8Is had already undergone maintenance at Air Works and three more were simultaneously inducted earlier this year – which intensified the complexity of the entire project.

The partnership between Air Works and Boeing is well positioned to further strengthen, as the P-8I inspection programme expands in terms of both scale and scope.

“Ensuring mission-readiness for our customers and providing them seamless services and support on our platforms is imperative for Boeing. Having completed heavy maintenance checks for six P-8Is for the Indian Navy by our partner Air Works is testimony to our joint and long-standing commitment towards bolstering MRO capabilities in the country.

We have always supported the development of indigenous aerospace and defense capabilities in India, and through the years, invested in partnerships within the Indian aerospace ecosystem in MRO, services and sustainment, as much as in manufacturing, R&D and innovation, and talent.”

Salil Gupte, President, Boeing India

The P-8I is an aircraft designed for long-range anti-submarine warfare (ASW), anti-surface warfare (ASuW), and intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance (ISR) missions. It is built to deliver the highest levels of quality, reliability, and operability.

The P8I is the Indian Navy’s most capable surveillance and reconnaissance aircraft. The induction of the P8I fleet in 2013 is widely regarded as a game-changer for India’s maritime capabilities. Nine of these aircraft have been delivered and three more are in the pipeline. 

The P8I is the Indian Navy’s most capable surveillance and reconnaissance aircraft.

A true multi-mission aircraft, it is defined by a unique combination of state-of-the-art sensors, proven weapons systems, and a globally recognized platform. Its induction into the Indian Navy in 2013, is widely regarded as a game changer for India’s maritime capabilities.

Established in 1951, Air Works has a pan-India network across 27 cities and provides MRO support to Boeing 737 and Airbus 320 fleets besides the ATR 42/72 family. It is also an Authorized Service Centre (ASC) for Bell and Leonardo helicopters and undertakes modification and assembly of rotary-wing aircraft.  

Cover Image – Bangalore Aviation