Boeing has delivered the last of six submarine-hunting P-8A Poseidon aircraft to the U.S. Navy, completing an initial contract for low-rate production aircraft.
That delivery won’t halt production of the plane, a variation of Boeing’s popular 737-800 passenger jet. Subsequent contracts provided for 18 more of the planes.
The Poseidon is equipped with advanced sensors and weaponry to detect and kill hostile submarines.
The P-8A is replacing Lockheed’s P-3 in the Navy’s inventory. The Navy says it ultimately will need at least 117 of the planes. The aircraft have also been ordered by the Indian military.
“The P-8 team continues to incorporate efficiencies into our production as we ramp up deliveries in 2013,” said Rick Heerdt, Boeing vice president and P-8 program manager. “We’ve reduced flow times and costs, which ultimately benefits our U.S. Navy customer.”
The next three Poseidon aircraft are undergoing mission systems installation and checkout in Seattle, and two more are in final assembly in Renton. Boeing will deliver its seventh production P-8A to the Navy later this quarter.