The US Navy has awarded Boeing a production contract for 16 P-8A Poseidon maritime surveillance aircraft, the first full-rate production contract for the 737 derivative.
The order takes total US Navy orders to 53 P-8s, 37 of which had previously been ordered in low-rate production batches, and 13 of which have been delivered to date.
“This milestone is a testament to the incredible effort and dedication of the team to deliver the P-8A to the fleet as planned,” Navy P-8A program manager Capt Scott Dillon said in a statement. “The future of the maritime patrol and reconnaissance community has begun to make history with the P-8As already delivered to the fleet. These full-rate production aircraft will give us the opportunity to deliver the best system through a cost-effective procurement contract.”
The P-8A is assembled on a production line alongside commercial 737s at Renton near Seattle. The Australian government last week approved the purchase of eight P-8As and the holding of four options for the RAAF to replace the AP-3C Orion in service from 2017.