Aviation Ordnanceman 3rd Class Michael Martin (L) and Aviation Ordnanceman Airman Cecilia Duran, both assigned to the Pro's Nest of Patrol Squadron 30, load an AGM-84K SLAM-ER missile on a P-8A Poseidon in 2014. Photo by Jason Kofonow/U.S. Navy
March 31 (UPI) -- The Navy has awarded Boeing a $1.6 billion contract modification to produce 18 P-8A Poseidon aircraft for the United States and allies, according to Boeing and the Pentagon.
The deal funds production of 18 Lot 11 P-8A maritime aircraft total: eight for the U.S. Navy, four for New Zealand and six for South Korea.
This week's announcement also marks the second time the same Navy contract with Boeing has been modified this month. Earlier in March, Boeing received $800 million to procure materials to build Poseidons for the three militaries.
According to Boeing, the Royal New Zealand Air Force will begin receiving aircraft in 2022 and the Republic of Korea Navy will begin receiving aircraft in 2023.
A military derivative of the Boeing 737 Next-Generation airplane, P-8 is the Navy's next-generation maritime surveillance aircraft.
The aircraft is able to carry torpedoes and anti-ship missiles and is capable of broad-area, maritime and littoral operations.
The aircraft is also modified to include a bomb bay and pylons for weapons, and is fitted with an in-flight refueling system, according to Boeing.
The contract is funded by a combination of Navy aircraft procurement funds and foreign military sales funds.
More than 97 percent of work on the deal will be performed in Seattle, Wash.