Boeing has secured a USD1.63 billion contract modification to manufacture 11 P-8A maritime multimission aircraft: nine for the US Navy (USN) and two for the Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF).
The Pentagon announced on 31 March that work on the ‘Lot 12’ production aircraft is to be completed by September 2024.
The contract award comes after the Australian Department of Defence (DoD) announced on 30 December 2020 that the country had exercised the option to acquire two more P-8A to add to the 12 already in RAAF service.
“These additional aircraft will enhance the air force’s flexibility to support multiple operations and will play an important role in ensuring Australia’s maritime region is secure for generations to come,” said then-Defence Minister Linda Reynolds. She added that “the Poseidon is a proven capability that will conduct [a number of] tasks, including anti-submarine warfare; maritime and overland intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance; and support to search-and-rescue missions”.
A month earlier, on 28 February, the Pentagon had awarded Raytheon a USD32.8 million contract modification to exercise an option to procure 11 APY-10 radar system production kits for USN and RAAF P-8A Poseidon.