The U.S. Navy awarded a nearly $1.5 billion contract Aug. 27 to Boeing Defense, Space & Security for the procurement of 13 Full-Rate Production (FRP) Lot 2 P-8A Poseidon aircraft.
Nine planes will join the U.S. fleet and four will join the Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF), who has been a cooperative partner in the P-8A joint program office since 2009.
The contract also provides an option to procure 20 additional FRP Lot 3 planes, 16 of which will go to the U.S. Navy and four to the RAAF.
Capt. Scott Dillon, Maritime Patrol & Reconnaissance Aircraft Program Office (PMA-290) program manager, said:
The Royal Australian Air Force and U.S. Navy have long been partners in maritime patrol.
Australia’s parallel transition from P-3C to P-8A will maximize interoperability while both forces continue to receive the benefits of a highly cost effective, highly reliable and persistent aircraft.
The eight RAAF planes included in the contract will be the first P-8A aircraft delivered to Australia, with initial delivery set for autumn 2016.
Boeing has delivered 28 planes to the Navy, the latest of which arrived to Jacksonville, Florida Aug. 18.
The P-8A is replacing the P-3C Orion as the Navy’s long-range anti-submarine warfare, anti-surface warfare, intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance aircraft.
Image: US Air Force