Boeing has delivered the 13th production P-8A Poseidon ahead of schedule to the U.S. Navy, marking a perfect on-time record for the year. The aircraft’s arrival at Naval Air Station Jacksonville, Fla., on Dec. 4 follows the Navy’s announcement of initial operational capability and first P-8A deployment last week.
The versatile maritime patrol aircraft, based on Boeing’s Next-Generation 737-800 platform, departed from Boeing Field in Seattle, where all P-8As are assembled and tested.
“This track record of on-time or ahead-of-schedule deliveries is a tribute to the efforts of the entire industry team as well as our Navy customer,” said Rick Heerdt, Boeing vice president and P-8 program manager. “The P-8A’s industry-unique assembly process, which takes full advantage of the efficiencies in the Next-Generation 737 production system, will continue to pay off as we move into full-rate production.”
“The program office will continue to support the fleet as we transition from the P-3C to P-8A. The fleet will use this aircraft, along with the previously delivered aircraft, to train and participate in operational missions,” said Cdmr. Tony Rossi, deputy program manager for the P-8A Poseidon program.
The P-8A delivery is the last of the second low-rate initial production (LRIP) aircraft lot awarded in 2011. Boeing currently is building Lot 3 aircraft, the first of which will be delivered in 2014.
Overall, Boeing has received four LRIP contracts for a total of 37 aircraft. The Navy plans to purchase 117 of the versatile multi-mission aircraft to replace its P-3 fleet. P-8As provide anti-submarine warfare, anti-surface warfare, intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance capabilities.
Boeing’s industry team includes CFM International, Northrop Grumman, Raytheon, Spirit AeroSystems, BAE Systems and GE Aviation.
Press Release, December 9, 2013; Image:Boeing