Boeing will provide the first P-8A Poseidon maritime surveillance aircraft for Australia and additional P-8As for the U.S. Navy following a $1.49 billion contract award from the Navy for 13 aircraft.
The order includes nine aircraft for the U.S. Navy and four Poseidon aircraft for the Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF), a long-time partner to the U.S. Navy on P-8A development.
This latest award puts Boeing on contract to build the Navy’s second lot of full-rate production aircraft, bringing the U.S. Navy’s fleet total to 62 P-8As. Boeing has delivered 28 Poseidons to date.
Based on Boeing’s Next-Generation 737-800 commercial airplane, the P-8A offers the worlds’ most advanced anti-submarine, anti-surface warfare and intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance capabilities. The Navy has deployed the first two P-8A patrol squadrons since operations started in 2013.
Australia’s participation in the P-8 program began in 2009 when the government signed the first in a series of memorandums of understanding to work with the U.S. Navy on system design and development.
The U.S. Navy and the RAAF also established a joint program office that operates at Naval Air Station Patuxent River, Md.
Production of the first Australian P-8A will begin later this year, with delivery to the RAAF scheduled for 2016.
Boeing will also provide the RAAF with a complete training system for the P-8A, using simulators to train pilots and mission crews to operate the aircraft, its sensors, communications and weapons systems without relying on costly live flights.