The U.S. Navy announced the award of a $1.6 billion contract to Boeing for P-8A Poseidon aircraft Low-Rate Initial Production (LRIP) of 6 aircraft.This first LRIP contract also includes spares, logistics and training devices. Production of the first LRIP aircraft will begin this summer at Boeing's Renton, Washington facility.
"In 2004, the U.S. Navy and the Boeing Company made a commitment to deliver the next generation maritime patrol and reconnaissance aircraft to support a 2013 Initial Operational Capability (IOC)," said Capt. Mike Moran, PMA 290 Program Manager. "This contract and these aircraft keep that commitment on track."
3 of the 6 flight test aircraft, built as part of the System Development and Demonstration contract awarded to Boeing in 2004, are in various stages of testing at Naval Air Station Patuxent River, Maryland. The Integrated Test Team has conducted sonobuoy releases and counter measures deployments.
Recently, one of two static test planes completed full scale testing on the P-8A airframe. The first static test aircraft underwent 154 different tests with no failure of the primary structure. The second aircraft will begin fatigue testing this year.
The U.S. Navy plans to purchase 117 production P-8A aircraft to replace its P-3 Fleet. IOC is planned for 2013 at NAS Jacksonville, Florida.