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The U.S. Navy last week announced that the P-8A Poseidon maritime patrol aircraft had achieved initial operational capability (IOC) and the first two planes departed for deployment. That means the P-8A is ready to conduct operational missions, tasked with tracking and targeting enemy submarines and ships.

P8-A 440 Delivery Group Photo and Take Off
And this week, on December 4, the 13th production P-8A arrived at Naval Air Station Jacksonville, Fla. The aircraft is the eighth Poseidon Boeing has delivered to the Navy in 2013 – all on or ahead of schedule. It also is the last Lot 2 delivery.

(See also:
Starliner Spacecraft Tested for Landing)

Overall, the Navy plans to acquire 117 P-8As to replace its P-3 fleet. Currently, Boeing is building 37 aircraft as part of four low-rate initial production contracts. The first P-8A production aircraft arrived at NAS “Jax” in March 2012.

Based on its Next-Generation 737-800 commercial airliner, the P-8A is a breakthrough both in capability and production methods. Boeing is building this “military derivative” with an in-line process that’s an industry first. The result is that the Navy is receiving the maritime patrol aircraft it needs, on cost and on schedule.

For more information on the P-8, click here.

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