Boeing has successfully bid for a $2.4 million production contract to deliver the next 19 P-8A Poseidon aircraft on behalf of the US Navy.
Under the contract, ten P-8As will be manufactured for US Navy operations alongside five Norwegian aircraft and a further four for the United Kingdom, bringing the UK’s total complement to nine.
Both Norway and the UK are procuring Boeing’s aircraft via the Foreign Military Sales process. Both countries will receive a variant designed and produced specifically for the US Navy – the P-8A Poseidon. Its thought the UK will receive its first aircraft in 2019, while Norway will take ownership from 2021 onwards.
For the uninitiated, the P-8 is a long-range multi-mission maritime patrol aircraft capable of broad-area, maritime and littoral operations. As a military derivative of the Boeing Commercial Next-Generation 737 airplane, the P-8 incorporates an advanced mission system to maximise interoperability in the battlespace.
The P-8 has also been militarised with maritime weapons and modern open mission system architecture. It has been modified to house a bomb bay and pylons for weapons – two weapon stations on each wing – and can carry 129 sonobuoys.
With more than 180,000 flight hours to date, P-8 variants – the P-8A Poseidon and P-8I – continue to perform anti-submarine and anti-surface warfare; intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance; humanitarian; and search and rescue missions.
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