Boe­ing bags $1.9 bil­lion con­tract for 11 P-8A Po­sei­don air­craft

SP's MAI - - AEROSPACE -

The US Navy re­cently awarded Boe­ing a $1.9 bil­lion con­tract for 11 P-8A Po­sei­don air­craft, which will take the to­tal fleet to 24 and bol­ster the ser­vice’s anti-sub­ma­rine, anti-sur­face war­fare and in­tel­li­gence, sur­veil­lance and re­con­nais­sance ca­pa­bil­i­ties.

This third low-rate ini­tial pro­duc­tion award fol­lows two last year that to­talled 13 air­craft. Boe­ing has de­liv­ered three of the pro­duc­tion P-8As, which are based on the com­pany’s next-gen­er­a­tion 737-800 com­mer­cial air­plane, and the navy plans to pur­chase 117 to re­place its P-3 fleet.

“This con­tract is a step­ping stone to full­rate pro­duc­tion, and our fo­cus re­mains on build­ing Po­sei­don on cost and on sched­ule,” said Chuck Dabundo, Boe­ing Vice Pres­i­dent and P-8 pro­gramme man­ager.

The Po­sei­don team uses a first-in-in­dus­try in-line pro­duc­tion process that draws on Boe­ing’s Next-Gen­er­a­tion 737 pro­duc­tion sys­tem. All P-8A-unique mod­i­fi­ca­tions are made in se­quence dur­ing fab­ri­ca­tion and as­sem­bly.

Af­ter as­sem­bly, the air­craft en­ter Boe­ing’s mis­sion sys­tem in­stal­la­tion and check­out fa­cil­ity for fi­nal mod­i­fi­ca­tions.

The Boe­ing-led team also has built and is test­ing six flight-test and two ground-test air­craft un­der a Navy Sys­tem Devel­op­ment and Demon­stra­tion con­tract awarded in 2004. The test air­craft have com­pleted more than 600 sor­ties and 2,500 flight hours to date.

Boe­ing’s in­dus­try team in­cludes CFM In­ter­na­tional, Northrop Grum­man, Raytheon, Spirit AeroSys­tems, BAE Sys­tems and GE Avi­a­tion.

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