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U.S. Navy Awards Third Production Batch of P-8 Aircraft to Boeing

by: Matthew Potter
September 13, 2011

Category: Boeing, Business Line, Companies, Countries, development program, Events, India, Military Aviation, Northrop Grumman Corp., production program, Raytheon | RSS 2.0

The P-8A Poseidon is the new long range maritime patrol aircraft for the U.S. Navy and India.  It is a variant of the Boeing (BA) 737 airliner that will perform maritime anti-submarine, reconnaissance and surveillance missions. The aircraft is in Low Rate Initial Production (LRIP) for the Navy and is undergoing testing at NAS Patuxent River and other sites. Ultimately over one hundred will be built to replace the venerable fleet of P-3C Orion aircraft used during the Cold War to counter the Soviet submarine fleet.

The Indian Navy has also bought eight of the aircraft. The P-3C had decent sales overseas and it can be expected that the P-8 will too as other nations move to replace their maritime patrol capability. The P-8 is one of several aircraft that Boeing has built for the military based on the 737 including a personnel transport and the E-6 long range communication aircraft. It may ultimately also be the platform for the intelligence gathering aircraft that will replace the EP-3 in use also with the U.S. Navy.

Boeing was recently awarded the contract to begin long lead material procurement for Lot III of the LRIP for the aircraft. This contract is worth over $160 million and is for the start of eight more systems for the Navy. This brings the total ordered by the Navy to almost twenty.

The aircraft has been in testing by the Navy for over a year centered at the primary Navy acquisition related base, Pax River, but also at other sites. This includes recent high temperature testing at Yuma.

Once testing is complete the P-8 will begin to enter squadron service around 2013.

The P-8 is one of those programs that doesn’t make headlines but will provide a core capability for the Navy. The use of the 737 based platform will improve performance, reliability and supportability. Boeing will be able to leverage the large commercial fleet to provide parts and engineering services at a competitive price. 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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One Comments

  1. U.S. Navy Continues Orders for P-8 Maritime Patrol Aircraft | Defense Procurement News on November 15th, 2011 3:17 am

    […] Navy has already ordered Long Lead Material for the third LRIP production order in September. Ultimately up to 100 of the aircraft could be […]

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