Navy looks to Boeing to increase production of P-8A maritime patrol jets with $2 billion contract for 13 planes

Posted by John Keller

PATUXENT RIVER NAS, Md., 4 Aug. 2013. Aircraft designers at the Boeing Co. Defense, Space & Security segment in Seattle are making plans to build an additional 13 P-8A Poseidon long-range maritime patrol jets for the U.S. Navy under terms of a $2 billion contract modification announced late Wednesday.

Officials of the Naval Air Systems Command at Patuxent River Naval Air Station, Md., announced the contract modification to Boeing (NYSE:BA), which involves low-rate initial production (LRIP lot-4 models of the P-8. The contract includes long-lead parts for 16 more P-8A full-rate production lot-1 aircraft.

The P-8 is a modified Boeing 737-800 single-aisle passenger jetliner modified for the long-range maritime patrol aircraft and anti-submarine warfare (ASW) mission. The P-8, which will replace the Navy's ageing fleet of P-3 Orion four-engine turboprop maritime patrol jets, will carry sonobuoys, acoustic surveillance gear, special torpedoes designed to drop from high altitudes, and other sophisticated ASW equipment.

Boeing received a $1.9 billion contract last fall to build 11 P-8A Poseidon jets. Wednesday's contract for 13 more of the long-range aircraft will bring the Navy's fleet of P-8As to 37. Navy leaders plan to buy a total of 117 P-8 aircraft.

In addition to its ASW gear, the P-8A will carry anti-ship missiles, and will be equipped with the Raytheon APY-10 multi-mission surface search radar. The P-8 will replace the Navy's P-3 Orion aircraft, a version of the Lockheed L-188 Electra passenger turboprop that was half a century ago.

The P-8 is designed to work together with the Northrop Grumman MQ-4C Triton broad-area maritime surveillance (BAMS) unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV), which is based on the Global Hawk long-range surveillance UAV.

As the manned and unmanned aircraft work as a team, the P-8A will handle high-altitude maritime surveillance over large areas. When the P-8 acquires a contact surface ship or suspected submarine, it can call in the MQ-4C UAV to maintain contact with the target while the P-8 attends to other duties.

The P-8 will be able to lay fields of sonobuoys from high altitudes and monitor sonar returns from the sonobuoy field itself, or hand over monitoring to an MQ-4C UAV on station nearby.

The P-A also will be equipped with flying torpedoes -- specially modified versions of the Navy's Mark 54 lightweight torpedo with wings and other flight-control surfaces -- that can be deployed from altitudes as high as 30,000 feet.

The ability to drop torpedoes to attack targets from high altitudes will enable the P-8 aircraft to avoid time- and fuel-wasting descents and ascents back to optimum surveillance altitudes as it performs its mission.

On the contract modification announced Wednesday, Boeing will do the work in Seattle; Baltimore; Greenlawn, N.Y.; Cambridge, England; Rockford, Ill.; North Amityville, N.Y.; and other locations, and should be finished by April 2016.

For more information contact Boeing Defense, Space & Security online at www.boeing.com, or Naval Air Systems Command at www.navair.navy.mil.

Easily post a comment below using your Linkedin, Twitter, Google or Facebook account.

Related Products

General Micro "Horizon" C299

The C299 Horizon is a third generation, 6U cPCI SBC module based on GMS’ upgradable CPU...

RR2P Removable Canister RAID System

Transportable data storage for mobile field use aboard planes, ships and ground transpo...

VPX3-453 3U VPX Virtex-6/8640D Digital Signal Processor

The Curtiss-Wright VPX3-453 is a high performance 3U VPX DSP and FPGA processor card th...

Related Companies

General Micro Systems Inc

Since 1979, General Micro Systems has been providing the most diverse line of single-board comput...

Winchester Systems Inc

At its founding in 1981, Winchester Systems introduced its first 5 MB disk system for Intel devel...

Extreme Engineering Solutions Inc (X-ES)

 Extreme Engineering Solutions, Inc. (X-ES) is a leader in the design, manufacture, and supp...

Most Popular Articles


Wire News provided by   

 

All Access Sponsors


Follow Us On...