David L Calhoun, CEO & President of the Boeing Company is likely to meet Defence Minister Rajnath Sing along with the top officials in the Ministry of Defence in an attempt to convince India to place orders for the six additional P8-I long-range maritime surveillance and anti-submarine warfare (ASW) aircraft that New Delhi is having second thoughts on.

Defense Acquisition Council (DAC) in January canceled plans to procure six additional American anti-submarine warfare, anti-surface warfare patrol aircraft as DAC believes that most of the sensors and radar systems can be made available within the country and has asked the Navy to look for local alternatives to fill the gap as Navy has started retiring Soviet-era IL-38 Sea Dragon patrol aircraft.

In March the Indian MoD asked Boeing to hold the commercial bid validity until July 2022. The commercial bid was to expire in March 2022. CCS had cleared the Navy’s plans to procure 6 additional P-8I aircraft from the Boeing. It already operates 12 P-8I aircraft in the fleet.

Boeing is likely to offer to set up P-8 MRO services in the country to sweeten the deal so that can be used by other countries in Asia-Pacific. Boeing is also keen to push for the sale of F-18 E/F to the Indian Navy and might make an official proposal to offer its KC-46 tanker for aerial refueling requirements of the Indian Air Force.

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