The U.S. Navy recently awarded Boeing [NYSE: BA] a $1.98 billion contract for 13 additional P-8A Poseidon aircraft, continuing the modernization of U.S. maritime patrol capabilities that will ultimately involve more than 100 P-8As. The contract includes long-lead funding previously approved by the Navy.
The Navy has now ordered 37 of the 117 P-8As it is expected to buy. To date, 10 have been delivered. Based on the Boeing Next-Generation 737-800 commercial airplane, the P-8 provides anti-submarine, anti-surface warfare as well as intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance capabilities. The P-8 is replacing the Navy’s P-3 aircraft.
“We’re on budget and on schedule and the Navy will stand up initial operational capability of this transformational aircraft by the end of the year,” said Rick Heerdt, Boeing vice president and P-8 program manager.
“This new contract award will continue to deliver aircraft to the fleet squadrons scheduled to receive their initial batch of P-8As on cost, schedule and performance parameters in accordance with the approved Acquisition Program Baseline,” said Capt. Scott Dillon, the Maritime Patrol and Reconnaissance Aircraft Program Office’s program manager.
Boeing assembles P-8As in the same facility where it builds all its 737s. The Poseidon team uses a first-in-industry in-line process that takes advantage of the efficiencies in the Next-Generation 737 production system. After initial assembly, the P-8A aircraft enter a separate mission system installation and checkout facility for final modifications and testing.
Initial operational test and evaluation (IOT and E) was completed in March; the Navy announced July 1 that the P-8A program had passed IOT and E and the P-8A was ready for fleet introduction.
Boeing’s industry team includes CFM International, Northrop Grumman, Raytheon, Spirit AeroSystems, BAE Systems and GE Aviation.