Boeing has announced it has been awarded a USD 1.5 billion contract by the US Navy for 18 P-8A Poseidon maritime patrol aircraft, the company said.
The contract is for six aircraft for the South Korean navy, four aircraft for the Royal New Zealand Air Force and eight aircraft for the USN, Boeing says on 30 March. New Zealand and South Korea are scheduled to received their first aircraft in 2022 and 2023, respectively.
A ship and submarine hunting maritime patrol aircraft, the P-8 is based on the commercial 737-800 with a ruggedized jet airframe and the installation of a bomb bay to drop torpedoes. The aircraft´s wings have pylons for weapons such as Harpoon anti-ship missiles. The aircraft can also carry up to 129 sonobuoys.
The aircraft is primarily operated by the US Navy, which plans to order 117 examples in total to replace its aging fleet of Lockheed P-3C Orion maritime patrol aircraft.
Other operators include the UK, Australia, India and Norway.