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.
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.