*Source: DTN News / Boeing (NSI News Source Info) SEATTLE., USA - July 31, 2009: The Boeing Company and the U.S. Navy yesterday July 30, formally unveiled the service's newest maritime patrol and reconnaissance aircraft, the P-8A Poseidon, during a ceremony at the Boeing facility in Renton, Wash. In June 2004, the United States Navy announced the selection of the Boeing Multi-mission Maritime Aircraft, 737 MMA, and awarded a contract to Boeing for the system development and demonstration phase of the program for the US Navy's next-generation maritime surveillance aircraft. The aircraft was given the designation P-8A in March 2005. It is planned that up to 108 P-8A MMA aircraft are to be purchased by the Navy to replace the fleet of 196 P-3C Orion maritime patrol aircraft which are approaching the end of operational life. A derivative of the Next-Generation 737-800, the P-8A is a long-range anti-submarine warfare, anti-surface warfare, intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance aircraft capable of broad-area, maritime and littoral operations. "The P-8A Poseidon will equip the U.S. Navy with the most advanced multi-mission maritime patrol and reconnaissance aircraft in the world," said Jim Albaugh, president and CEO of Boeing Integrated Defense Systems. "The Poseidon is also the latest in a decades-long Boeing tradition of working closely with the Navy and other customers to deliver a wide range of platforms that meet their most critical mission requirements, including commercial-derivative military planes, fighters, rotorcraft, and attack, electronic warfare and unmanned aircraft." As the replacement for the Navy's P-3C Orion aircraft, the P-8A will provide greater payload capacity, significant growth potential, unprecedented flexibility and interoperability, and advanced mission systems, software and communications. "The P-8A program is an outstanding example of evolutionary acquisition at work," said Capt. Mike Moran, U.S. Navy Maritime Patrol and Reconnaissance Aircraft program manager. "The team has worked hard to stay on schedule and within cost in this development effort, and we all should be extremely proud of the results." The P-8A is built by a Boeing-led industry team that includes CFM International, Northrop Grumman, Raytheon, Spirit AeroSystems and GE Aviation. The team currently is assembling and testing the first five P-8As as part of the program's System Development and Demonstration contract, awarded in 2004. The integrated Navy/Boeing team will begin formal flight testing of the P-8A later this year. The Navy plans to purchase 117 P-8As, and initial operational capability is planned for 2013. A unit of The Boeing Company, Boeing Integrated Defense Systems is one of the world's largest space and defense businesses specializing in innovative and capabilities-driven customer solutions, and the world's largest and most versatile manufacturer of military aircraft. Headquartered in St. Louis, Boeing Integrated Defense Systems is a $32 billion business with 70,000 employees worldwide.
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