Boeing on Monday began final assembly of the first P-8A Poseidon for the U.S. Navy. The P-8A will provide increased capability in long-range anti-submarine warfare, anti-surface warfare, intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance.
The start of final assembly follows closely on the heels of Spirit AeroSystems’ delivery of the first P-8A fuselage to Boeing in Renton, Wash. Mechanics loaded the fuselage into a tooling fixture and began installing systems, wires, tubing and other small parts. Boeing will join the P-8A’s wings to its body later this year.
Boeing Integrated Defense Systems and Boeing Commercial Airplanes are working together to build the P-8A, a military derivative of the 737-800, on a new, third final-assembly production line in Renton, Wash. The third line takes advantage of the proven efficiencies, manufacturing processes and performance of the highly reliable Next-Generation 737.
The P-8A is built by a Boeing-led industry team that includes CFM International, Northrop Grumman, Raytheon, Spirit AeroSystems and GE Aviation. Under the current System Development and Demonstration contract, the team will build five test vehicles: three flight-test and two ground-test aircraft. Delivery of the first test aircraft to the Navy and first flight are scheduled for 2009.
The Navy plans to purchase 108 P-8As to replace its fleet of P-3C aircraft. Initial operational capability is slated for 2013.
Photo Credit: Boeing