Boeing has successfully delivered the 13th P-8A Poseidon maritime multi-mission production aircraft to the US Navy, ahead of schedule, as part of the second low-rate initial production (LRIP) aircraft lot awarded in 2011.
The aircraft delivery follows the US Navy’s initial operational capability announcement and first P-8A aircraft deployment last week.
Boeing vice president and P-8 programme manager Rick Heerdt said the record of on-time or ahead-of-schedule deliveries is a tribute to the entire industry team as well as Navy customer efforts.
"The P-8A’s industry-unique assembly process, which takes full advantage of the efficiencies in the Next-Generation 737 production system, will continue to pay-off as we move into full-rate production," Heerdt added.
Designed to provide anti-submarine warfare, anti-surface warfare, intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance capabilities, the versatile maritime patrol aircraft is based on Boeing’s Next-Generation 737-800 platform.
P-8A Poseidon programme deputy programme manager, commander Tony Rossi said the programme office will continue to support the fleet as the P-8A replaces the existing P-3C turbo-prop P-3 Orion fleet for the US Navy.
"The fleet will use this aircraft, along with the previously delivered aircraft, to train and participate in operational missions," Rossi said.
The Boeing-led industry team of the P-8A aircraft programme includes CFM International, Northrop Grumman, Raytheon, Spirit AeroSystems, BAE Systems and GE Aviation.
Currently, the company is manufacturing the Lot 3 aircraft with the first aircraft scheduled to be delivered to the Navy in 2014.
The US Navy is planning to procure a total of 117 versatile multi-mission aircraft to replace its P-3 fleet.
Image: Boeing delivers 13th production P-8A Poseidon to the US Navy. Photo: courtesy of Boeing.