ST. LOUIS-Boeing joined the wing assembly and fuselage of the first P-8A Poseidon for the U.S. Navy in Renton, WA. Boeing Integrated Defense Systems (IDS) and Boeing Commercial Airplanes (BCA) are working together to build the P-8A, a military derivative of the 737-800, on a new final assembly line.
The Navy plans to purchase 108 P-8As to replace its fleet of P-3C aircraft. Initial operational capability is slated for 2013. The P-8A will provide increased capability in long-range anti-submarine warfare, anti-surface warfare, intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance.
The next major P-8A assembly milestone will be engine installation. The Boeing-led Poseidon industry team remains on track for delivery of the first test aircraft to the Navy in 2009. Under the current contract, the team will build five test vehicles: three flight-test and two ground-test aircraft.