Washington: The Navy cemented a deal with Boeing last week to buy seven new P-8A Posidon aircraft for just under $1.4 billion, bringing the total fleet up to 13 aircraft.
The new P-8As are part of the second batch of low-rate initial production planes bought by the Navy for the Posidon program. The service bought its first tranche of initial production Posidons in January for $1.6 billion.The service plans to buy a total of 117 P-8As to hunt and kill enemy submarines and surface ships. Those planes will also replace the older P-3 Orions as the Navy’s main intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance aircraft. Naval Air Systems Command at Patuxent River Naval Air Station in Maryland is overseeing the program.
But the $1.38 billion awarded to Boeing this week only covers the cost of the seven planes in the contract, company spokesman Charles Ramey said today.”When you add in the spares, logistics and training, that bumps [the price] up to about $1.7 billion,” Ramey explained. Service officials reached a $300 million deal with Boeing in September to provide P-8A training and product support, service spokeswoman LaToya Graddy said today.
The $1.6 billion awarded in January covered the six initial P-8As and the additional equipment and training needed to support them.
The Posidon successfully completed its first flight test in June. The plane, based off of Boeing’s 737 passenger airliner, flew from Renton Field, where it is assembled, to Boeing Field in Seattle where mission systems will be installed.
This week’s Posidon deal comes as Boeing continues work on a $2.1 billion dollar contract to build eight P-8s for the Indian military.