Boeing has gained a contract valued at almost $2.5 billion to build a further 20 P-8A Poseidon maritime patrol aircraft. The deal, awarded to the US manufacturer by US Naval Air Systems Command on January 28, covers aircraft in the third full rate production (FRP) lot (Lot VII overall, including low-rate initial production batches).
The order, which exercises an option from an earlier contract, comprises 16 aircraft for the US Navy and four for the Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF). Also included are efforts related to obsolescence monitoring, change assessment and integrated baseline/programme management reviews. Contract completion is anticipated by December 2018.
This deal brings the total P-8As on order for the US Navy to 78, of which 35 have been delivered to date. The most recent delivery, to the US Navy, took place on February 10. This was the second this year, the first having left Seattle two days earlier. The first Lot VII aircraft is scheduled for delivery in late 2017.
The Australia order is the second for RAAF P-8As, an initial four having been contracted for on August 27 last year as part of Loy VI (FRP Lot II). Australia also holds options on a further four. A decision on whether to exercise these options is expected to be announced when the country’s next Defence White Paper is published later this year. The RAAF is due to take delivery of its first Poseidon in late 2016. Alan Warnes