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Boeing producing more Poseidon aircraft

  |   Nov. 10, 2011 at 7:33 AM
SEATTLE, Nov. 10 (UPI) -- Boeing has received a $1.7 billion low-rate initial production award from the U.S. Navy for seven additional P-8A Poseidon maritime surveillance aircraft.

LRIP-II is the follow-on to an initial LRIP-I contract awarded in January to provide six Poseidon aircraft. Overall, the Navy plans to purchase 117 Boeing 737-based P-8A anti-submarine warfare, anti-surface warfare, intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance aircraft to replace its P-3 fleet.

As part of the contract, Boeing will provide aircrew and maintenance training for the Navy beginning in 2012, in addition to logistics support, spares, support equipment and tools.

"This contract is the result of the Boeing and Navy team's hard work and commitment, and moves us a step closer to P-8A full-rate production," said Chuck Dabundo, Boeing vice president and P-8 program manager.

"We've assembled and flown the first LRIP plane and continue to focus on building P-8A aircraft on cost and on schedule."

Boeing completed assembly of the first LRIP-I aircraft at its Renton, Wash., facility this summer. The aircraft completed a first flight July 7, which marked its transition from fabrication and assembly to mission system installation and checkout.

The Poseidon team is using a first-in-industry, in-line production process that draws on Boeing's Next-Generation 737 production system. All P-8A-unique aircraft modifications are made in sequence during fabrication and assembly.

A derivative of the Next-Generation 737-800, the Poseidon is built by a Boeing-led industry team that includes CFM International, Northrop Grumman, Raytheon, Spirit AeroSystems, BAE Systems and GE Aviation.

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