Navy Awards $1.8Bn for 4th Phase of P-8A Production
- Readies for First Deployment
The U.S. Navy announced July 31 the award, to Boeing Defense and Security Systems, of a $1.8 billion firm fixed-price-contract for the procurement of 13 Low Rate Initial Production (LRIP) Lot 4 P-8A Poseidon Multi-Mission Maritime aircraft.
"This new contract will deliver the next lot of LRIP aircraft to the next squadrons scheduled to receive their initial P-8As," said Capt. Scott Dillon, the Maritime Patrol and Reconnaissance Aircraft Program Office's (PMA 290) program manager. "I am proud of the P-8A team for this significant milestone, job well done. The P-8A program is meeting all cost, schedule and performance parameters in accordance with the approved Acquisition Program Baseline.”
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Dillon also added the program office is actively using the six test aircraft at Naval Air Systems Command (NAVAIR) to conduct both ground and flight tests, and flight crew training in support of Initial Operational Capability this fall. In addition to the ground and flight testing, Harpoon missile testing in support of the first Navy P-8A operational deployment is on track for the winter deployment.
The Navy also announced in a report July 1, the P-8A program passed Initial Operational Test and Evaluation, and was found operationally effective, operationally suitable, and recommended for fleet introduction.
As of last month, the Navy received nine P-8A LRIP aircraft, which fleet operators are currently conducting training on, flying, and preparing for the aircraft’s first-ever operational deployment. This year, the Navy's patrol and reconnaissance community's deployment cycle will see the P-8A actively participating in missions. Until transition to the P-8 is complete in 2019, P-3C Orion and EP-3 Aries II squadrons will augment this first P-8 deployment to fulfill global maritime patrol and reconnaissance force requirements.
The first fleet squadron in Jacksonville, Fla., Patrol Squadron (VP16), has received all six LRIP Lot 1 aircraft and completed their P-3C to P-8A transition. As VP-16 continues preparations for the first operational P-8A deployment in December, deliveries of LRIP Lot 2 aircraft are continuing to progress and the second squadron to transition to the P-8, VP-5, is on track with their training and qualifications.
"With nine P-8As already delivered to the fleet, the future of the Maritime Patrol and Reconnaissance Community has begun to take shape," said Rear Adm. Sean S. Buck, commander, Patrol and Reconnaissance Group, which oversees the policy for manning, training, and equipping three Maritime Patrol and Reconnaissance Wings, 18 operational squadrons, a fleet replacement squadron and subordinate activities. "Our young Navy men and women are excited to see the modernization of the force."
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Source : Naval Air Systems Command