PATUXENT RIVER NAS, Md. – U.S. Navy aerial surveillance experts are asking the Boeing Co. to provide upgrade kits to give Australian P-8A Poseidon maritime patrol jets network-ready open-systems avionics architectures and network-enabled weapons under terms of a $19.4 million order announced on Thursday.
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 two P-8A Increment 3 retrofit A-kits for Royal Australian Air Force 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.
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.; St. Louis; and Mesa, Ariz., and should be finished by June 2026. For more information contact Boeing Defense, Space & Security online at www.boeing.com/company/about-bds/.