April 1 (UPI) — The Navy has awarded Boeing with a $1.6 billion production contract to build 11 P-8A Poseidon aircraft — nine for the U.S. Navy and two for the Royal Australian Air Force.
“The P-8A continues to be an invaluable asset and these additional aircraft will help deliver expanded maritime patrol and reconnaissance capabilities to the fleet,” Capt. Eric Gardner, program manager for the U.S. Navy’s Maritime Patrol and Reconnaissance Program Office, said in Boeing‘s press release.
The P-8A is the Navy’s principal aircraft for detecting and tracking submarines, and is used for rescue in addition to intelligence gathering and reconnaissance.
The Navy received its 100th P-8A aircraft last May.
The aircraft also has two variants — the P-8I, which is flown by the Indian Navy, and the P-8A Poseidon, which is flown by the U.S. Navy, the Royal Australian Air Force and Britain’s Royal Air Force, according to Boeing.
Wednesday’s deal comes almost exactly a year after the contractor announced a $1.6 billion contract to produce 18 P-8A Poseidon aircraft for the United States, New Zealand and South Korea.
This week’s deal is funded by $1.3 billion in fiscal 2021 Navy procurement funds and $7.6 million in foreign cooperative agreement funds, according to the Pentagon.
In mid-March, the State Department also approved a potential $1.77 billion sale of five P-8A Poseidon aircraft to Germany.