Boeing to help upgrade Navy P-8A maritime patrol jet with network-ready weapons and open-systems avionics

March 1, 2023
The Poseidon's increment 3 upgrades focus on network-ready systems, an open-systems electronics architecture, and network-enabled weapons.

PATUXENT RIVER NAS, Md. – U.S. Navy aerial surveillance experts are asking the Boeing Co. to provide upgrade kits to give the P-8A Poseidon maritime patrol jet aircraft a network-ready open-systems avionics architecture and network-enabled weapons under terms of a $50.8 million order announced Monday.

Officials of the Naval Air Systems Command at Patuxent River Naval Air Station, Md., are asking the Boeing Defense, Space & Security segment in Seattle for P-8A Increment 3 retrofit A-kits for eight existing P-8A aircraft.

The Poseidon's increment 3 focuses on network-ready open-systems electronics architecture and network-enabled weapons, and is part of the Navy's plan to replace its fleet of P-3 Orion turboprop maritime patrol aircraft with the Poseidon.

The Poseidon is a militarized version of the Boeing 737 single-aisle jetliner, while the much-older P-3 is a militarized version of the Lockheed Martin L-188 Electra four-engine turboprop passenger plan, which has been flying since the late 1950s.

Related: Navy asks L3Harris to provide signal data processing for shipboard network that blends sensors and weapons

The P-8A Poseidon increment 3 retrofit kits will enable the aircraft to carry the Harpoon Block II+ anti-ship missile and Link 16 datalink, as well as communications upgrades.

The P-8A aircraft already in service will be retrofitted to the increment 3 standard with network-ready electronics and weapons. The P-8A is expected to have a completely upgraded software in time to become fully operational in 2023. The Australian air force has committed to acquiring 15 P-8A Poseidon aircraft.

Boeing has been developing, integrating, and testing increment 3 upgrade kits since June 2016 when the company won a $71.6 million order to do so.

On this order Boeing will do the work in Jacksonville, Fla., and in St. Louis, and should be finished by July 2026. For more information contact Boeing Defense, Space & Security online at

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