Boeing awarded $1.6 billion contract to build Navy aircraft

Wichita EagleJanuary 26, 2011 

Boeing has received a $1.6 billion contract from the U.S. Navy for initial low-rate production of the P-8A Poseidon aircraft.

The Navy plans to buy 117 of the aircraft, which is a derivative of Boeing's 737-800 single-aisle commercial aircraft.

The plane is an anti-submarine warfare, anti-surface warfare, intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance aircraft and will replace the Navy's P-3 fleet.

Initial operational capacity is planned for 2013.

Spirit AeroSystems produces the plane's fuselage, pylons and thrust reverser.

"In our view, the P-8 has been an extremely successful program," said Spirit spokeswoman Debbie Gann. "It's one that Spirit's been able to bring value to because we build these military products right down a commercial (production) line.... We think it's been a real success story for us."

The production contract follows a 2004 contract with Boeing to build and test six flight-test and two ground-test aircraft. The first three flight-test planes are completing testing at Naval Air Station Patuxent River, Md.

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