The US Navy has awarded a $1.49bn contract to Boeing for the delivery of 13 P-8A Poseidon aircraft to Australia and the navy.
Under this contract, the company will be responsible for providing nine aircraft for the US Navy and four Poseidon aircraft for the Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF).
US Navy P-8 programme manager captain Scott Dillon said: "By working together since the early stages of P-8A development, the US and Australia have created one airplane configuration that serves the needs of both countries.
"The US and Australian P-8As will be able to operate with each other effectively and affordably for decades to come."
The new development marks the delivery of the first P-8A Poseidon to Australia and the construction of the US Navy’s second lot of full-rate production aircraft.
The navy is responsible for providing the RAAF with a comprehensive P-8A training system under a US Cooperative Program.
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.
Delivery of the first Australian P-8A is scheduled for next year.
The P-8A, based on Boeing’s next-generation 737-800 commercial airplane, 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.
Capable of conducting broad-area maritime and littoral operations, the aircraft will use the flying boom, or the method of refuelling currently used by the US Air Force.
The navy plans to use the P-8A to replace its ageing fleet of turbo-prop P-3 Orion aircraft. Approximately 117 P-8A MMA aircraft are expected to be purchased by the navy.
Image: The P-8A Poseidon aircraft is designed to ensure maximum interoperability in the future battle space. Photo: courtesy of Boeing.