US Navy orders 13 P-8A Poseidon aircraft
Boeing will supply 13 additional P-8A Poseidon aircraft to the US Navy under a recently signed $1.98 billion contract announced on 1 August. The order continues the modernisation of US maritime patrol capabilities that will ultimately involve more than 100 P-8As.
The navy has now ordered 37 of the 117 P-8As it is expected to buy to replace its P-3 aircraft. To date, 10 have been delivered.
Based on the Boeing next-generation 737-800 commercial airplane, the P-8 provides anti-submarine, anti-surface warfare as well as intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance capabilities.
Capt. Scott Dillon, the Maritime Patrol and Reconnaissance Aircraft Program Office’s program manager, said: ‘This new contract award will continue to deliver aircraft to the fleet squadrons scheduled to receive their initial batch of P-8As on cost, schedule and performance parameters in accordance with the approved Acquisition Program Baseline.’
Initial operational test and evaluation (IOT&E) was completed in March; the navy announced in July that the P-8A programme had passed IOT&E and the P-8A was ready for fleet introduction. According to the Boeing, the navy will stand up initial operational capability by the end of 2013.
This contract includes long-lead funding previously approved by the navy.
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The UK Royal Navy’s Vanguard-class of ballistic missile submarines (SSBN) provide the UK with its continuous-at-sea deterrent (CASD) coverage and have done so since 1994. The Vanguards will themselves be replaced by the new Dreadnought-class SSBNs from the 2030s.