The Boeing Company has been awarded a $2.2 billion multinational contract for at least 17 P-8A Poseidon aircraft, according to a Boeing news release.
The contract, awarded last week, will provide the U.S. Navy with 11 new P-8A’s and will expand Australia’s fleet by four. The U.K. is receiving its first set of two P-8A’s, with delivery scheduled for 2019.
The multinational agreement also includes options for 32 additional aircraft, as well as money for long-lead parts for future orders. With all options included, the contract is worth $6.8 billion.
The Boeing P-8A Poseidon is a state-of-the-art maritime patrol plane used for maritime surveillance, reconnaissance, anti-submarine warfare, anti-surface warfare and shipping interdiction. The aircraft has the ability to control unmanned aerial vehicles, deploy sonobuoys, anti-submarine torpedoes and anti-ship missiles. It can also fly up to 4,500 miles without refueling, according to Boeing’s fact page for the plane.
“The P-8A is a textbook example of Boeing’s commercial derivative expertise,” said Jamie Burgess, vice president of Boeing Military Aircraft’s Mobility, Surveillance & Engagement division and the P-8 program manager. “Every day our customers get to fly incredible aircraft that perform exceptionally well and are built by the best of Boeing,” he added.
The Navy has received 53 Poseidons from Boeing so far and the Royal Australian Air Force has received two.
Based on the Boeing 737-800 commercial airplane, the Navy has flown the aircraft for more than 96,000 flight hours since deployed around the globe in 2013.
The plane was featured in news stories around the world when the U.S. Navy deployed two P-8A Poseidons to Australia to help search for Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 in 2014. Various platforms aboard the plane were used to help expand the search for the missing commercial plane.
The Indian Navy has a fleet of eight P-8I’s, a customized version of the aircraft.