The 25th P-8A Poseidon – the world’s most advanced maritime patrol aircraft – flew from Boeing facilities in Seattle to Naval Air Station Patuxent River, Md., on June 2, with the U.S. Navy taking possession of the aircraft on schedule. This marks the first delivery in the Navy’s final lot of low-rate initial production (LRIP) aircraft. Assembly of the first full-rate production fuselage will get under way next month, with delivery scheduled for 2016.
The deliveries support the Navy’s ongoing effort to recapitalize its fleet of P-3 Orion aircraft. P-3 squadrons are transitioning to P-8A at a rate of about one squadron every six months.
The Navy started P-8 missions in December 2013, with the deployment of the ‘War Eagles’ of Patrol Squadron (VP) 16. Since then two more squadrons have deployed with P-8. The aircraft has flown more than 6,200 sorties in that time, accumulating more than 33,000 flight hours.
The P-8 is part of the Maritime Patrol and Reconnaissance Aircraft program office that was recently recognized with the 2014 David Packard Excellence in Acquisition and Should Cost and Innovation Award . “Should cost,” is a Better Buying Power (BBP) initiative to incentivize productivity and reduce cost.
Boeing is on contract to produce and support 53 P-8As, which will fulfill anti-submarine warfare; anti-surface warfare; and intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance missions.