The P-8A is one of 13 low rate initial production (LRIP) maritime patrol aircraft that Boeing is building for the Navy as part of two contracts awarded in 2011.
Navy pilots flew the P-8A from Seattle to Naval Air Station Jacksonville, Fla., where the first LRIP P-8A is being used for aircrew training.
“We’re proud to be able to meet our commitment and deliver another Poseidon to the fleet,” said Chuck Dabundo, Boeing vice president and P-8 program manager. “Navy crews have had a couple of months of training with the first plane, and their feedback has been positive.”
Three P-8As currently are undergoing mission systems installation and checkout in Seattle, and three are in final assembly in Renton, Wash. In order to efficiently design and build P-8A aircraft for the Navy and P-8I aircraft for India, the Boeing-led team is using a first-in-industry, in-line production process that draws on the company’s Next-Generation 737 production system. All aircraft modifications are made in sequence during fabrication and assembly.
Overall, the Navy plans to purchase 117 of the Boeing 737-based P-8A anti-submarine warfare, anti-surface warfare, intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance aircraft to replace its P-3 fleet.
As part of the two LRIP contracts, Boeing is providing aircrew and maintenance training for the Navy, in addition to logistics support, spares, support equipment and tools. Separate from the LRIP contracts, Boeing was awarded a System Development and Demonstration contract in 2004 to build and test six flight-test and two ground-test P-8A aircraft. The flight test aircraft have completed more than 600 sorties and 2,800 flight hours, mainly at Naval Air Station Patuxent River, Md.