Boeing is going to set up a training facility for its P-8I Long Range Maritime Reconnaissance Anti Submarine Warfare (LRMRASW) aircraft at the naval air station INS Rajali located near Arakkonam in Tamil Nadu.

The 60,000 sq. ft. complete training facility would be commissioned at INS Rajali, Arakkonam by March 2021. The India training facility will be the second that Boeing has internationally, the first one being Australia.

In addition, as part of the contract, a dedicated Maintenance Simulator would also be commissioned at the Naval Institute of Aeronautical Technology (NIAT). The P-8I Training Solution, along with 10-year comprehensive maintenance service, will be brought from Boeing for Rs. 1,949.32 crore.

The order was cleared by Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman on Thursday.

“Towards training of the P8I pilots, observers, ordnance and technical personnel, a contract has been signed with M/s Boeing, USA for procurement of Training Simulator for P8I aircraft, along with construction of a 60,000 sq ft civil facility (Training, Support and Data Handling Centre) and an on-site Comprehensive Annual Maintenance Contract for a period of 10 years,” said a statement issued by Indian Navy.

After the completion of 10-year period, the training facility will be run by Navy itself, sources told BusinessLine.

The first P-8I aircraft was inducted in Indian Navy in 2013 and as of date, eight aircraft, based at INS Rajali, have been fully integrated into Indian Naval operations. In 2016, the Defence Ministry placed a follow-on order for four additional P-8I, the delivery of which will begin in 2020.

This training solution accurately simulates P-8I aircraft and mission systems. It will help Indian Navy train and realistically rehearse for sophisticated missions involving P-8I aircraft, at a fraction of the cost of live aircraft training, according to Defence Ministry.

“We will continue to partner with the Indian Navy, the first and largest international customer of the P-8, as they utilize their fleet for long range intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance and anti-submarine missions,” said Pratyush Kumar, President, Boeing India.

The training center will have capacity to train additional crews as the Indian Navy accepts delivery of 4 new aircraft. Boeing will also be responsible for maintaining the simulators. It also plans to use several local partners to support hardware and software requirements, and for supporting maintenance of simulators.

Boeing provided factory training to 5 aircrews and 68 maintenance technicians as part of the original P-8I aircraft contract.