On March 4 The Boeing Co. delivered the first production P-8A Poseidon aircraft to the U.S. Navy in Seattle. The P-8A is the first of 13 anti-submarine warfare, anti-surface warfare, intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance aircraft Boeing will deliver as part of a low-rate initial production (LRIP) contract awarded in 2011.
“Delivering this capability to the warfighter is the ultimate goal and we’re proud to be able to meet our commitment and hand over the P-8A ‘keys’ to the Navy fleet,” said Chuck Dabundo, Boeing vice president and P-8 program manager. “This is a great day for Boeing, our supplier teammates and our Navy customer.”
“The Navy fleet is more than ready to receive the P-8A, which will provide the users and operators a step increase in mission capabilities,” said Rear Admiral Paul Grosklags, U.S. Navy Program Executive Officer for Air Anti-Submarine Warfare, Assault & Special Mission Programs. “Thanks to Boeing and the entire team for its efforts and great partnership to date.”
Following delivery in Seattle, Navy pilots flew the first production P-8A, LRIP1-1, to Naval Air Station Jacksonville, Fla., where it will be used for aircrew training.
The Poseidon team is using a first-in-industry in-line production process that draws on Boeing’s Next-Generation 737 production system. All P-8A-unique aircraft modifications are made in sequence during fabrication and assembly.
Along with production aircraft, the P-8A team also has built and is testing six flight-test and two ground-test aircraft. The flight-test aircraft are based at Naval Air Station Patuxent River, Md., and have completed more than 1,500 flight hours.
A derivative of the Next-Generation 737-800, the Poseidon is built by a Boeing-led industry team that includes CFM International, Northrop Grumman, Raytheon, Spirit AeroSystems, BAE Systems and GE Aviation.
The Navy plans to purchase 117 Boeing 737-based P-8A aircraft to replace its P-3 fleet. Initial operational capability is planned for 2013.
*Editor's Note: Information provided by The Boeing Company.