March 1 (UPI) -- Boeing Co. has received a $428 million contract to support long-lead material and activities for 16 P-8A aircraft for three countries.
The contract, announced Thursday by the Department of Defense, calls for six planes to be built for the U.S. Navy, as well as four for New Zealand's armed forces and six for South Korea.
The aircraft is the U.S. Navy's next-generation maritime surveillance aircraft.
Up to 117 P-8As are expected to be purchased by the Navy to replace its fleet of 196 P-3C Orion maritime patrol aircraft, now approaching the end of their operational lives.
The majority of the work will be performed at Boeing's Seattle facility, with work expected to conclude by June 2020.
The plane, known as the Poseidon, is based on Boeing's 737-800 fuselage, with wings from the 737-900.