Boeing has secured a $2.4 billion Navy contract to produce the next 19 P-8A Poseidon aircraft.
The agreement calls for 10 aircraft to be added to the current inventory of P-8As in the Navy’s fleet, in addition to all five jets currently under contract for Norway and the four aircraft remaining for the existing U.K. contract.
The P-8 aircraft series, which officials described as being militarized with maritime weapons, a modern open mission system architecture, and commercial-like support for affordability, is a long-range multi-mission maritime patrol aircraft capable of broad-area, maritime and littoral operations.
The P-8 combines superior performance and reliability with an advanced mission system ensuring maximum interoperability in the battle space and serves as a military derivative of the Boeing Commercial Next-Generation 737 airplane.
The P-8A is also fitted with an in-flight refueling system. To that end, with more than 180,000 flight hours to date, officials noted P-8 variants — the P-8A Poseidon and the P-8I — patrol the globe performing anti-submarine and anti-surface warfare; intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance; humanitarian; and search and rescue missions.
The United Kingdom is expected to receive its first P-8A aircraft this year while Norway will begin receiving the aircraft in 2021.