The US Navy has awarded a second low-rate initial production (LRIP-II) contract to Boeing for delivery of an additional seven P-8A Poseidon maritime surveillance aircraft.

The $1.7bn contract follows the initial LRIP-I contract awarded in January for six Poseidon aircraft.

Under the contract, Boeing will also provide aircrew and maintenance training, logistics support, spares, tools and support equipment.

The P-8A is a multi-mission maritime aircraft designed to perform anti-submarine and anti-surface warfare, and intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance operations.

The flight-testing of the first LRIP-I aircraft was conducted earlier this year while the initial operational capability is scheduled for 2013.

The navy is planning to purchase 117 P-8A aircraft to replace its P-3 fleet.