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.

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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.