Boeing [NYSE: BA] will provide the first P-8A Poseidon maritime surveillance aircraft for Australia and additional P-8As for the U.S. Navy following a $1.49 billion contract award from the Navy for 13 aircraft.
The order includes nine aircraft for the U.S. Navy and four Poseidon aircraft for the Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF), a long-time partner to the U.S. Navy on P-8A development.
“By working together since the early stages of P-8A development, the U.S. and Australia have created one airplane configuration that serves the needs of both countries,” said Capt. Scott Dillon, U.S. Navy P-8 program manager. “The U.S. and Australian P-8As will be able to operate with each other effectively and affordably for decades to come.”
This latest award puts Boeing on contract to build the Navy’s second lot of full-rate production aircraft, bringing the U.S. Navy’s fleet total to 62 P-8As. Boeing has delivered 28 Poseidons to date.
“Delivering premier aircraft on schedule and on cost has become a hallmark of the P-8 program,” said James Dodd, Boeing vice president and general manager of Mobility, Surveillance and Engagement. “We look forward to building on Boeing’s long-standing relationship with Australia by providing the quality, value and capability of the P-8A.”
Based on Boeing’s Next-Generation 737-800 commercial airplane, the P-8A offers the worlds’ most advanced anti-submarine, anti-surface warfare and intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance capabilities. The Navy has deployed the first two P-8A patrol squadrons since operations started in 2013.
Australia’s participation in the P-8 program began in 2009 when the government signed the first in a series of memorandums of understanding to work with the U.S. Navy on system design and development. The U.S. Navy and the RAAF also established a joint program office that operates at Naval Air Station Patuxent River, Md.
Production of the first Australian P-8A will begin later this year, with delivery to the RAAF scheduled for 2016. Boeing will also provide the RAAF with a complete training system for the P-8A, using simulators to train pilots and mission crews to operate the aircraft, its sensors, communications and weapons systems without relying on costly live flights.
Source / Author: Boeing