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Boeing hands over first P-8A Poseidon to US Navy

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The first production P-8A, LRIP1-1, takes off from Boeing Field in Seattle on its way to Naval Air Station Jacksonville, Florida, where it will be used for aircrew training. A Boeing photo

SEATTLE (BNS): Boeing has delivered the first production P-8A Poseidon long-range maritime patrol aircraft to the US Navy.

The aircraft was officially handed over to the US Navy in Seattle on March 4, the company announced on Tuesday.

The P-8A Poseidon is the first of 13 such anti-submarine warfare, anti-surface warfare, intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance planes which Boeing will deliver to the Navy as part of a low-rate initial production (LRIP) contract awarded in 2011.

"Delivering this capability to the warfighter is the ultimate goal and we're proud to be able to meet our commitment and hand over the P-8A 'keys' to the Navy fleet," said Chuck Dabundo, Boeing vice president and P-8 programme manager.

"The Navy fleet is more than ready to receive the P-8A, which will provide the users and operators a step increase in mission capabilities," said Rear Admiral Paul Grosklags, US Navy Programme Executive Officer for Air Anti-Submarine Warfare, Assault & Special Mission Programmes.

The P-8A Poseidon multi-mission maritime patrol aircraft is based on a Boeing 737-800 airframe with state-of-the art equipment for maritime reconnaissance and anti-submarine and anti-surface warfare. The new aircraft is being developed to replace the US Navy's P-3C Orion aircraft.

The Navy plans to induct a total of 117 P-8As.

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