The Navy has declared 56 P-8A Poseidon aircraft as fully mission capable, which the branch said was reached ahead of its scheduled deadline. File Photo by by Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Andy A. Anderson/U.S. Navy
Aug. 10 (UPI) -- The P-8A Poseiden aircraft Integrated Weapons Support Team has reached the goal of 56 Fully Mission Capable aircraft more than a week ahead of schedule, the Navy said on Tuesday.
Naval Supply Systems Command Weapons Systems Support's P-8A IWST had targeted Aug. 1 to achieve the goal of 56 FMC P-8A Poseidon aircraft, but the team actually reached the goal on July 23 with the help of government stakeholders and industry partners, NAVSUP WSS said in a press release .
The P-8A IWST's work with commercial vendors to prioritize key components, expedite deliveries, and reduce Repair Turnaround Times, modify contracts and develop relationships contributed to achieving the goal, according to the Navy.
"Among many, the primary strategies used to help tackle the issues to support this initiative were continuous communication and cross collaboration on a daily basis," Lt. Commander Daniel Hatting, P-8A IWST director, said in the release.
"The IWST team's ability to communicate directly with the squadron during daily calls allowed them to gain a better understanding of customer requirements; being proactive and translating that customer vision to industry allowed the team to align fleet prioritization with operational importance," Hatting said.
The U.S. Navy's P-8A Poseidon patrol aircraft are used for rescue, intelligence gathering and reconnaissance as the Navy's principle aircraft for detecting and tracking submarines.
The 56 FMC P-8A aircraft can be used by operational commanders worldwide for anti-submarine warfare, anti-surface warfare, intelligence and surveillance and reconnaissance missions.
The next goal is to sustain the 56 aircraft and expand as more aircraft deliver to the fleet, officials said.
In May, a U.S. Inspector General report found sustainment problems with the P-8A Poseidon fleet, including maintenance personnel delays in identifying and receiving spare parts, shortages of spare parts, and lack of maintenance procedures and technical data.
In April, Boeing landed a $1.65 billion contract to build 11 P-8A Poseidon aircraft--nine for the U.S. Navy and two for the Royal Australian Air Force.
The deal was funded by $1.3 billion in fiscal 2021 Navy procurement funds and nearly $7.6 million in foreign cooperative funds, according to the Pentagon.
At the time, Boeing had 128 P-8A aircraft under contract for the Navy and 14 under contract for the RAAF.
In mid-March, the U.S. State Department approved the potential sale of five P-8A to Germany for an estimated cost of $1.77 billion.