Boeing delivered the sixth production P-8A Poseidon aircraft to the U.S. Navy, successfully completing the first group of low-rate initial production aircraft.
The delivery is the final aircraft from a contract awarded in January 2011. Boeing is on schedule to build 24 P-8A maritime patrol aircraft as part of contracts awarded in 2011 and 2012.
"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."
The U.S. Navy plans to purchase 117 P-8As, which are based on the Next-Generation Boeing 737-800 platform. It is a versatile multi-mission aircraft that provides broad long-range maritime patrol capabilities - anti-submarine warfare, anti-surface warfare, intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance. It is replacing the U.S. Navy's P-3 fleet.
"This aircraft delivery marks the beginning of a new era of maritime patrol aircraft," says 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 next three Poseidon aircraft are undergoing mission systems installation and checkout in Seattle, WA, and two more are in final assembly in Renton, WA. Boeing will deliver its seventh production P-8A to the Navy later this quarter.