SEATTLE, Feb. 5 (UPI) -- A sixth and final low-rate initial production P-8A Poseidon aircraft has been delivered to the U.S. Navy by Boeing.
The patrol aircraft was manufactured under a 2011 contract and was delivered given to the Navy last week.
"The P-8 team continues to incorporate efficiencies into our production as we ramp up deliveries in 2013," said Rick Heerdt, Boeing vice president and P-8 program manager. "We've reduced flow times and costs, which ultimately benefits our U.S. Navy customer."
The P-8A, based on the Boeing 737-800 platform, is designed to conduct anti-submarine warfare, shipping interdiction and to engage in an electronic intelligence. It has a maximum speed of 490 knots, a range of 1,200 nautical miles and a service ceiling of 41,000 feet. It can carry a variety of weapons, including torpedoes, depth charges and anti-ship missiles.
The Navy plans on procuring 117 of the aircraft and Boeing says it's on schedule to build 24 P-8A maritime patrol aircraft as part of contracts awarded in 2011 and 2012.
"This aircraft delivery marks the beginning of a new era of maritime patrol aircraft," said Navy Capt. Scott Dillon, Maritime Patrol and Reconnaissance Aircraft program manager. "The first fleet squadron is now equipped with P-8s, and will soon deploy with a maritime patrol capability that is greatly enhanced relative to our legacy P-3 force."
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