The first aircraft will be delivered in 2017, the Australian Department of Defense announced Friday, and all eight aircraft will be operational by 2021.
The P-8A is based on the 737-800 commercial airliner and can be equipped with torpedoes and Harpoon missiles. It has a cruise speed of more than 440 knots and a range of more than 1,200 nautical miles.
Acquisition of the eight aircraft – including the building of support facilities – will cost Australia about $3.59 billion.
"This project will offer significant opportunities for industry and jobs creation." The Department of Defense said. "Australian businesses have already won approximately $7.62 million of work associated with Australia's participation in the P-8A program and stand to benefit ... through construction of facilities at RAAF Base Edinburgh in South Australia and elsewhere and work to meet maintenance and other support needs."
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