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.
“By working together since the early stages of P-8A development, the U.S. and Australia have created one airplane configuration that serves the needs of both countries. The U.S. and Australian P-8As will be able to operate with each other effectively and affordably for decades to come,” said Capt. Scott Dillon, U.S. Navy P-8 Program Manager.
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.
“Delivering premier aircraft on schedule and on cost has become a hallmark of the P-8 program. We look forward to building on Boeing’s long-standing relationship with Australia by providing the quality, value and capability of the P-8A,” said James Dodd, Boeing Vice President and General Manager of Mobility, Surveillance and Engagement.
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.
A unit of The Boeing Company, Defense, Space & Security is one of the world's largest defense, space and security businesses specializing in innovative and capabilities-driven customer solutions, and the world’s largest and most versatile manufacturer of military aircraft. Headquartered in St. Louis, Defense, Space & Security is a $31 billion business with 53,000 employees worldwide.