Boeing Receives 1st P-8I Indigenous Equipment From Bharat Electronics

Boeing today announced that it received a key communications technology for the Indian Navy’s P-8I long-range maritime reconnaissance and anti-submarine warfare aircraft from Bharat Electronics Limited (BEL) in April, one month ahead of schedule. BEL delivered the Indian-designed Data Link II, a communications system that will enable exchange of tactical data and messages between Indian Navy aircraft, ships and shore establishments. Boeing will install the system during P-8I final assembly at its facility in Renton, Washington.

“Our deepening partnership with Bharat Electronics Limited endorses our ongoing initiative to build and strengthen the aerospace supply chain," said Dinesh Keskar, president, Boeing India. "BEL’s efficiency in reaching this milestone highlights the speed with which the industry is maturing.”

Data Link II is the first Indian-manufactured item delivered to Boeing as part of the P-8I program. The P-8I is a variant of the P-8A Poseidon that Boeing designed and is building for the U.S. Navy. “Data Link II represents the first P-8I Industrial Participation project promised by Boeing in the area of avionics systems,” said Vivek Lall, vice president and India country head, Boeing Defense, Space & Security. “Boeing contracted BEL in August 2009 to build this critical communications technology, and they have done an outstanding job by delivering on their commitment.”

BEL Chairman Ashwani Kumar Datt said, “This milestone is a demonstration of the capability that BEL has developed to deliver cutting-edge work in avionics, software and structural components. We are pleased to partner with Boeing on the P8-I platform and we look forward to achieving many more milestones together.”

BEL’s delivery of the state-of-the-art electronics will support P-8I test and integration activities in Seattle. BEL will deliver the last of the Data Link components in late 2011. 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.

Some info on Data Link II, courtesy BEL's Bangalore Office: Data Link II enables communication in fleet ships, submarines, helicopters / aircraft and shore establishments. This system enables Indian Navy personnel to exchange messages as well as tactical data in a speedy, reliable and secure manner. Functions: Message communication, Tactical communication. Benefits: Force multiplication of fleet by presenting super tactical picture as each platform in the network has both local (received from tactical system) and remote tactical data (received from another platform over the network). Facility to give tactical commands from various platforms. In certain critical situations (e.g. to avoid detection near enemy area), platform has to switch off all its sensors, but it is still be able to get the tactical picture over the network with remote from other platform's sensors. Missions can be accomplished for targets which are not within reach of local sensors but are detected by other platform's sensors and their position and other information is sent over the tactical network. Data Link II consists of a Main Peripheral Unit (MPU), Display Unit (DU) and a Keyboard Unit (see photo).

P-8 Photo by Shiv Aroor / Boeing 737/P-8 Facility Renton, Washington
Data Link II Photo Courtesy BEL Bangalore

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