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Boeing has been awarded a $2.46bn contract to manufacture and deliver P-8A Poseidon maritime surveillance aircraft for the US Navy, and the Government of Australia.

The order is a modification to a previously awarded fixed-price-incentive-firm contract to exercise an option for 20 Lot III full-rate production P-8A aircraft, of which 16 are for US and four for the Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF).

Awarded under a US cooperative agreement, this option provides for efforts related to obsolescence monitoring, change assessment, and integrated baseline / programme management reviews.

"Boeing will provide the RAAF with a complete training system for the P-8A."

Under this programme, Boeing will provide the RAAF with a complete training system for the P-8A, including simulators, mission crews, sensors, communications, and weapons systems.

Work under the contract will be carried out by the company at facilities in Seattle, Washington; Baltimore, Maryland; Greenlawn, New York; Cambridge, UK; North Amityville, New York; Rockford, Illinois; Rancho Santa Margarita, California; Salt Lake City, Utah; and various other locations around the US.

Deliveries are expected to be completed in December 2018.

The US Naval Air Systems Command, Patuxent River, Maryland, will serve as the contracting activity.

Developed based on Boeing’s next-generation 737-800 commercial airplane, the P-8A is a long-range anti-submarine warfare, anti-surface warfare, intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance aircraft designed to ensure maximum interoperability in the future battle space.

The aircraft, which is capable of conducting broad-area maritime and littoral operations, will use the flying boom, or the method of refuelling currently used by the US Air Force.

Image: A P-8A Poseidon flies over the Chesapeake Bay. Photo: courtesy of Greg L Davis.