Boeing’s P-8A Poseidon program will enter full production, following a $2.4 billion contract award from the U.S. Navy for 16 additional aircraft that will bolster maritime patrol capabilities.
The order, which will take the total fleet to 53, marks a transition from preliminary low-rate production.
Boeing has delivered 13 P-8As to the Navy, which deployed its first patrol squadron to Kadena, Japan in December 2013 and has been conducting operational missions since then.
“This milestone is a testament to the incredible effort and dedication of the team to deliver the P-8A to the fleet as planned,” Navy P-8A program manager Capt. Scott Dillon said. “The future of the Maritime Patrol and Reconnaissance community has begun to make history with the P-8As already delivered to the fleet. These full-rate production aircraft will give us the opportunity to deliver the best system through a cost-effective procurement contract.”
The U.S. Navy uses the new P-8A planes for anti-submarine, anti-surface warfare and surveillance work, enhancing the service’s intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance capabilities. Overall, the Navy plans to purchase 117 P-8As to replace its P-3 fleet.
Rick Heerdt, Boeing vice president and P-8 program manager said: “We delivered eight P-8s, all on or ahead of schedule in 2013, and we intend to keep that streak going in 2014.”
Boeing’s industry team includes CFM International, Northrop Grumman, Raytheon, Spirit AeroSystems, BAE Systems and GE Aviation.
Press Release, February 26, 2014, Image: Boeing