SEATTLE, 5 Feb. 2013. Boeing (NYSE:BA) has finalized delivery of the first group of low-rate initial production P-8A Poseidon aircraft to the U.S. Navy.
Boeing staff delivered to the Navy the 6th P-8A combat aircraft, designed to improve the service's maritime patrol capabilities, on 31 Jan. 2013. The delivery marks the final aircraft from a contract awarded in Jan. 2011. Boeing is on schedule to build 24 P-8A maritime patrol aircraft as part of contracts awarded in 2011 and 2012. The P-8A is replacing the U.S. Navy's P-3 fleet.
"This aircraft delivery marks the beginning of a new era of maritime patrol aircraft," explains Capt. Scott Dillon, Maritime Patrol and Reconnaissance Aircraft program manager. "The first fleet squadron is now equipped with P-8s, and will soon deploy with a maritime patrol capability that is greatly enhanced relative to our legacy P-3 force."
The U.S. Navy plans to purchase 117 P-8As, a versatile multi-mission aircraft based on the Next-Generation Boeing 737-800 platform. It provides broad long-range maritime patrol capabilities: anti-submarine warfare, anti-surface warfare, and intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance (ISR).
The next three Poseidon aircraft are undergoing mission systems installation and checkout in Seattle, and two more are in final assembly in Renton, Wash. Boeing will deliver its seventh production P-8A to the Navy later this quarter.
"The P-8 team continues to incorporate efficiencies into our production as we ramp up deliveries in 2013," says Rick Heerdt, Boeing vice president and P-8 program manager. "We've reduced flow times and costs, which ultimately benefits our U.S. Navy customer."
As part of the LRIP contracts, Boeing is also providing maintenance training for the Navy, in addition to logistics support, spares, support equipment and tools.