The US Department of Defense (DoD) has awarded over $50m to Boeing for a modification to an order against a previously issued basic ordering agreement.

This modification exercises options to procure eight P-8A Increment 3 retrofit A-kits for the US Navy (USN) maritime patrol fleet. These kit upgrades will include associated special tooling in support of anti-submarine warfare capabilities upgrades for the USN.

Work will be performed in Jacksonville, Florida (92.6%); and St. Louis, Missouri (7.4%), and is expected to be completed in July 2026.  

Fiscal 2023 aircraft procurement (Navy) funds in the amount of $50,815,986 will be obligated at the time of award, none of which will expire at the end of the current fiscal year.

This contract modification emphasises the need for upgraded anti-submarine warfare capabilities. With tensions between the US and China at an all-time high, investment in their underwater warfare capabilities will no doubt grow as this tension manifests in the South China Sea region.

GlobalData, in its report on the China Defence Market 2022-2032, forecasts that Chinese spending on submarines will see a 4.68% compound annual growth rate. Therefore, it is reasonable for the USN to, likewise, invest in upgrades for its anti-submarine warfare capabilities whenever it is able for the most effective use of its equipment.

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The Boeing P-8A is intended to succeed Lockheed Martin’s P-3C Orion as the standard USN maritime patrol and reconnaissance aircraft. GlobalData, in its US Defence Market data, report that the USN’s current fleet of 24 P-3Cs, initially acquired between 1962-65, are slowly being replaced by the growing fleet of 122 P-8As, acquired between 2012-22.