Boeing to supply additional P-8A Poseidon aircraft
Boeing has received a $1.7 billion low-rate initial production (LRIP) award from the US Navy to supply an additional seven P-8A Poseidon maritime surveillance aircraft. According to a company statement issued 9 November 2011, the LRIP-II is the follow-on to an initial LRIP-I contract awarded in January to provide six Poseidon aircraft.
Boeing said that the US Navy will purchase 117 Boeing 737-based P-8A anti-submarine warfare, anti-surface warfare, intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance aircraft in total to replace its P-3 fleet. As part of the contract, Boeing will provide aircrew and maintenance training for the Navy beginning in 2012, in addition to logistics support, spares, support equipment and tools. The training system will include a full-motion, full-visual Operational Flight Trainer that simulates the flight crew stations, and a Weapons Tactics Trainer for the mission crew stations.
Boeing completed assembly of the first LRIP-I aircraft at its Renton, Wash., facility this summer. The first flight test took place in July, and the Poseidon team has built and is testing six flight-test and two ground-test aircraft under the US Navy System Development and Demonstration contract awarded to Boeing in 2004.
According to the company, first-in-industry in-line production processes that draw on Boeing's Next-Generation 737 production system are being used for the aircraft. All P-8A-unique aircraft modifications are made in sequence during fabrication and assembly. The Poseidon is built by a Boeing-led industry team that includes CFM International, Northrop Grumman, Raytheon, Spirit AeroSystems, BAE Systems and GE Aviation.
Initial operational capability for the Navy is planned for 2013.
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