Boeing's first P-8 anti-submarine jet destined for the Indian Navy took off on its first flight out of Renton, landing at Boeing Field 2 ½ hours later.

Though Boeing’s newest commercial jets have been grabbing all the attention recently, the company’s Puget Sound area-based military jet programs are also quietly moving forward.

Wednesday, the first P-8 anti-submarine jet destined for the Indian Navy took off on its first flight out of Renton, landing at Boeing Field 2 ½ hours later.

The initial customer for the Renton-built, 737-based P-8 program, also known as Poseidon, is the U.S. Navy, which will take 117 of the jets and is scheduled to deploy the first squadron in 2013.

India, the first foreign customer, will take eight of the maritime warfare aircraft, designated P-8I, with options for an additional four.

Rear Adm. DM Sudan, assistant chief of Naval Staff (Air), Indian Navy, witnessed the flight..

“The P-8I program is progressing well, and we are looking forward to this potent platform joining the Indian navy as part of its fleet,” he said in a statement.

As part of the contract with India, Boeing is required to offset the cost by placing some P-8I work with Indian suppliers.

Boeing has opened a research and technology center and an analysis and experimentation Center in Bangalore. The former conducts research in aero structures, materials and network systems; the latter, in partnership with Bharat Electronics, provides modeling, analysis and defense experimentation in support of the Indian Armed Forces.

Dominic Gates: 206-464-2963 or dgates@seattletimes.com