Nine aircraft will join the US Navy fleet and two will go to the Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF), a cooperative partner in the P-8A joint program since 2009. The contract brings the total number of US Navy P-8A aircraft under contract to 128 and the RAAF total to 14.
The P-8A is a long-range anti-submarine and anti-surface warfare aircraft used by the US Navy. It’s vital for intelligence gathering, surveillance reconnaissance and search and rescue.
Deployed around the world, with 103 aircraft in service and more than 300,000 flight-hours, the P-8’s performance and reliability delivers confidence to customers operating in an uncertain world.
“We continue to hear feedback from deployed Navy squadrons who tell us the P-8A is exceeding expectations,” said Stu Voboril, vice president and program manager for Boeing’s P-8A programme. “Our focus is on delivering the world’s best maritime patrol aircraft. That only happens when teams truly collaborate, listen and focus on customer priorities.”
The P-8 is militarised with maritime weapons, a modern open mission system architecture and commercial-like support for affordability. It’s the principal aircraft with the ability to detect and track submarines. The aircraft is modified to include a bomb bay and pylons for weapons. It has two weapons stations on each wing and can carry 129 sonobuoys. The aircraft is also fitted with an in-flight refuelling system.
The P-8 is a military derivative of the Boeing 737 Next-Generation airplane. The P-8 shares 86% commonality with the commercial 737NG, providing enormous supply chain economies of scale in production and support.
The P-8 has two variants: The P-8I, flown by the Indian Navy, and the P-8A Poseidon, flown by the US Navy, the Royal Australian Air Force and the UK’s Royal Air Force.