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U.S. Navy Continues Orders for P-8 Maritime Patrol Aircraft

by: Matthew Potter
November 15, 2011

Category: Boeing, Business Line, Companies, Contract Additions, Contract Awards, Countries, Events, India, Lockheed Martin, Maryland, Military Aviation, production program, Services, States, U.S. Navy | RSS 2.0

The U.S. Navy has been working with Boeing (BA) on building a new maritime patrol aircraft to replace the Lockheed P-3 Orion which came into service almost fifty years ago. They settled on a design based on the 737 airliner which the Navy already operates as a transport and command and control aircraft. The new P-8A Poseidon is undergoing testing and evaluation at the Paxtuxent River Naval Air Station in Maryland.

Following up on previous orders for 8 aircraft to support testing the Navy recently awarded the first Low Rate Initial Production (LRIP) batch to Boeing. This contract is worth about $1.7 billion and is for eight aircraft. The contract includes training, spares and support equipment as well as the eight aircraft.

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

The P-8 has also been sold to India in the P-8I configuration. The Southeast Asian country had originally ordered 8 of the aircraft but this spring increased that to 12. Along with Boeing’s C-17 sale it is one of the largest deals a U.S. company has made with India.

The P-8 will be equipped with new systems such as radars, other sensors and command and control systems that offer an upgrade over the P-3. The P-8 also offers range, reliability and payload improvements over the propeller driven P-3.

Photo from Iragerich’s Flickr photostream.

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