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January 25, 2011

US Navy Orders Six Boeing P-8A Poseidon Aircraft

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The Boeing Company on Tuesday announced that it received a $1.6 billion contract from the U.S. Navy for the low-rate initial production (LRIP) of P-8A Poseidon aircraft.

Boeing US Navy P-8 Poseidon

The contract consists in the LRIP of six P-8A Poseidon aircraft spares, logistics and training devices. The U.S. Navy granted the contract to Boeing on January 21.

“This first production contract represents a significant commitment by the U.S. Navy to recapitalize its force of long-range maritime patrol and reconnaissance aircraft,” said Capt. Leon Bacon, P-8A deputy program manager for the Navy.

The U.S. Navy plans to purchase 117 of the Boeing 737-based P-8A anti-submarine warfare, anti-surface warfare, intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance aircraft to replace its P-3 fleet.

Boeing will begin final assembly of the first LRIP aircraft this summer. Initial operational capability is planned for 2013. All the modifications to the P-8A Poseidon aircraft will be made during fabrication and assembly.

“Ensuring that this capability arrives on schedule and within budget remains our primary objective,” added Bacon.

The Boeing team in charge of the P-8A Poseidon aircraft production is using a first-in-industry in-line production process that draws on Boeing’s Next-Generation 737 production system.

“The in-line approach we’ve incorporated on this military derivative aircraft is already paying the dividends we expected by helping us improve efficiency and reduce costs,” said John Pricco, Boeing P-8 program manager.

The Poseidon aircraft is a derivative of the Boeing’s Next-Generation 737-800. The P-8 is built by a Boeing-led industry team that includes CFM International, Northrop Grumman, Raytheon, Spirit AeroSystems, BAE Systems and GE Aviation.

Last August, the P-8A Poseidon aircraft T3 successfully completed its first flight test. Boeing and U.S. Navy test pilots performed airborne systems checks including engine accelerations and decelerations, autopilot flight modes, and auxiliary power unit and engine shutdowns and starts during the two-hour and 48-minute flight.

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