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Boeing begins final assembly of first P-8A Poseidon for US Navy


The fuselage for the first P-8A Poseidon low-rate initial production aircraft arrived at the Boeing's Renton factory on Monday. Final assembly of the aircraft began Wednesday. A Boeing photo

RENTON, WASHINGTON (BNS): Boeing has begun the final assembly of the first P-8A Poseidon production aircraft for the US Navy.

The work began at Boeing's Renton facility in Washington Wednesday.

“Boeing will deliver this first aircraft to the Navy on schedule in 2012 in preparation for initial operational capability, which is planned for 2013,” Chuck Dabundo, Boeing vice president and P-8 programme manager, said.

The aircraft is the first of six low-rate initial production (LRIP) aircraft that Boeing is building under a $1.6 billion contract awarded to it by the US Navy in January this year.

The LRIP-1 contract includes spares, logistics and training devices.

Boeing was awarded a System Development and Demonstration contract in 2004 to build and test six flight-test and two ground-test P-8A aircraft.

The first three flight-test planes -- T1, T2 and T3 -- are completing testing at Naval Air Station Patuxent River, Maryland. The programme’s static test plane, S1, has completed its test programme earlier this year.

The US Navy plans to purchase a total of 117 P-8A Poseidons.

The multi-mission maritime patrol aircraft is based on a Boeing 737-800 airframe with state-of-the art equipment for maritime reconnaissance, anti-submarine and anti-surface warfare.

The intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance aircraft is being designed to replace the US Navy’s P-3C Orion aircraft.

India has also placed orders worth $2.1 billion with Boeing to acquire eight P-8I Poseidons.

“We’re excited to transition from the development airplanes to production,” said John Pricco, Boeing Commercial Airplanes P-8 programme manager.

“Our team’s tremendous work has put us in a good position as we ramp up to build both the P-8A for the United States and the P-8I for India,” the official said.

The first P-8I Poseidon is scheduled to be delivered to India in 2013.

Tags:

P-8A  US Navy  

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