PATUXENT RIVER NAS, Md., 23 Jan. 2011. The U.S. Navy ordered six P-8A Poseidon anti-submarine warfare (ASW) maritime patrol jets from the Boeing Co. in Seattle on Friday in the Navy's effort to improve its long-rang ASW and maritime patrol capability by replacing the venerable P-3 Orion turboprop with P-8A -- a Navy version of the Boeing 737 jetliner.
Officials of the Naval Air Systems Command at Patuxent River Naval Air Station, Md., awarded a $1.53 billion contract to Boeing to procure six P-8A multi-mission maritime aircraft (MMA) under terms of an advanced acquisition low-rate initial production I contract. The contract includes associated spares, support equipment and tools, logistics support, trainers and courseware, in addition to the six P-8A Poseidon aircraft. Boeing should complete work by January 2013.
Ultimately, the Navy plans to buy 108 P-8A aircraft from Boeing to replace the service's fleet of 196 P-3C Orion maritime patrol aircraft which are approaching the end of operational life. The P-3 is a version of the Lockheed Martin Electra four-engine turboprop aircraft.
Boeing will build the Poseidon aircraft at its factory in Renton, Wash. The 737 fuselage and tail sections will be built by Spirit AeroSystems in Wichita, Kan., then transferred to Renton where all structural features will be incorporated in sequence during fabrication and assembly.
The P-8A's flight management system and the stores management system has been developed by GE Aviation Systems in Grand Rapids, Mich. (formerly Smiths Aerospace). The cabin has as many as seven operator consoles.
The Poseidon's MX-20HD digital electro-optical and infrared (EO/IR) multi-spectral sensor turrets come from L-3 Communications Wescam in Burlington, Ontario. The MX-20HD is gyro-stabilized and can have as many as seven sensors including infrared, CCDTV, image intensifier, laser rangefinder and laser illuminator.
The aircraft has the upgraded APS-137D(V)5 maritime surveillance radar and signals intelligence (SIGINT) system from the Raytheon Co. Space and Airborne Systems (SAS) segment in McKinney, Texas. The APS-137D(V)5 radar, which is installed on the P-8's enlarged nose fairing, provides synthetic aperture radar (SAR) for imaging stationary ships and small vessels and for coastal and overland surveillance, and high resolution imaging synthetic aperture radar (ISAR) for imaging surfaced submarines and fast surface vessels operating in coastal waters.
The P-8A will have the CAE Inc. advanced integrated magnetic anomaly detection (MAD) System. The Navy plans to arm the P-8A with the MK 54 torpedo. The Northrop Grumman Corp. Electronic Systems segment in Baltimore is supplying the electronic warfare self-protection (EWSP) suite which includes Terma AN/ALQ-213(V) electronic warfare management system (EWMS), directional infrared countermeasures (DIRCM) set, radar warning system, BAE Systems countermeasures dispenser.
Boeing will do the work for this contract in Seattle; Hazelwood, Mo.; Baltimore; Greenlawn, N.Y.; Tampa, Fla.; McKinney, Texas; North Amityville, N.Y.; Hauppauge, N.Y.; Anaheim, Calif.; Grand Rapids, Mich.; and Rockford, Ill.