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P-8A Maritime Patrol Aircraft Delivered to NAS Patuxent River to Start Test Program

by: Matthew Potter
August 3, 2010

Category: Boeing, Business Line, Companies, development program, Events, India, Maryland, Military Aviation, northrop grumman, Northrop Grumman Corp., production program, Raytheon, Services, U.S. Navy | RSS 2.0

Boeing (BA) has delivered the first P-8A Poseidon long range maritime patrol and anti-submarine aircraft to the U.S. Navy Patuxent River Naval Air Station to begin its test program. The P-8A when it reaches service in a few years will replace the P-3C Orion aircraft originally manufactured by Lockheed (LMT) that has been in service now for almost forty years.

The P-8A is based on the Boeing 737 twin engined air liner. A version, the P-8I, has also been purchased by India.

The larger, jet engine equipped P-8A will have a longer range, more time in the air and greater payload then the turboprop powered Orion. If all goes well with the program the Navy will receive their first Poseidon in 2013.

In the late Eighties the Navy attempted to develop the P-7 as a replacement for the P-3 but that program was canceled in the decade after as part of defense acquisition reforms under President Clinton. The P-8 program began just after the turn of the century and Boeing was awarded the development contract in 2004.

The Navy will receive two more test aircraft at Pax River this year. The aircraft is equipped with systems and electronics from Northrop Grumman (NOC), Raytheon (RTN) and GE Aviation (GE). The two engines are manufactured by CFM International.

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