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Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Boeing to Begin LRIP of P-8A Poseidon

Boeing received a $1.6 billion contract from the U.S. Navy for low-rate initial production (LRIP) of the P-8A Poseidon aircraft. The LRIP 1 contract is for six P-8A aircraft, spares, logistics and training devices.

The Navy plans to purchase 117 of the Boeing 737-based P-8A anti-submarine warfare, anti-surface warfare, intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance aircraft to replace its P-3 fleet. Initial operational capability is planned for 2013. Boeing will begin final assembly of the first LRIP aircraft at its Renton, Wash., facility this summer.

“Providing these production aircraft to the Navy fleet on schedule is our No. 1 goal,” said Chuck Dabundo, Boeing vice president and P-8 program manager.

As part of the U.S. Navy System Development and Demonstration contract awarded to Boeing in 2004, the team is building and testing six flight-test and two ground-test aircraft. The first three flight-test planes, T1, T2 and T3, are completing testing at Naval Air Station Patuxent River, Md. The program’s static test plane, S1, recently completed its test program, which began in May 2009; S2, the fatigue test plane, will begin testing later this year. The Integrated Test Team has conducted sonobuoy releases and counter measures deployments. Recently, one of two static test planes completed full scale testing on the P-8A airframe, according to the Navy. The first static test aircraft underwent 154 different tests with no failure of the primary structure. The second aircraft will begin fatigue testing this year.

The Poseidon is built by a Boeing-led industry team that includes CFM International, Northrop Grumman, Raytheon, Spirit AeroSystems, BAE Systems and GE Aviation.

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