The P-8I commenced its operational flight test program on July 7, 2012 taking off from Boeing Field in Seattle at 9:15 a.m. and landing three hours and 49 minutes later after demonstrating flying qualities and handling characteristics. The flight went as planned with all test objectives met.
During the flight, Boeing test pilots performed airborne systems checks including engine accelerations and decelerations and autopilot flight modes, and took the P-8I to a maximum altitude of 41,000 feet prior to landing. In the coming weeks Boeing will begin mission systems installation and checkout work on the aircraft at a company facility near Boeing Field.
Boeing also announced that assembly is complete on the second P-8I aircraft and it will make its first flight in the coming weeks.
The P-8Is will reportedly be based at INS Rajali, Arakkonam Naval Air Station in Tamil Nadu, which is currently home base for Indian Navy’s 312 Squadron which operates eight Tupolev Tu-142MK-E Aircraft (Bear F mod 3 export variant). (The aircraft entered service in the Indian Air Force in 1986 and are equipped for maritime patrol and Anti-Surface Warfare, reconnaissance, air-sea rescue and search and rescue.)
The first P-8I aircraft for the Indian Navy completed its initial flight on September 28, 2011, taking off from Renton Field at 12:02 p.m. Pacific time and landing two hours and 31 minutes later at Boeing Field in Seattle.