The first Boeing P-8A Poseidon production aircraft completed its first flight on July 7, taking off from Renton Field and landing three hours later at Boeing Field in Seattle. The P-8A is the first of six low-rate initial production (LRIP) aircraft Boeing is building for the U.S. Navy as part of a $1.6 billion contract awarded in January.
“This is the first P-8 that will go directly to the fleet in Jacksonville, Fla., so the aircraft’s first flight is an important milestone for the Boeing team and our Navy customer,” said Chuck Dabundo, Boeing vice president and P-8 program manager.
The Navy plans to purchase 117 of the Boeing Next-Generation 737-based P-8A anti-submarine warfare, anti-surface warfare, intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance aircraft to replace its P-3 fleet.
“As the Navy’s replacement for the P-3 Orion, the P-8A Poseidon represents the next generation of maritime patrol and reconnaissance aircraft,” said Capt. Michael Moran, program manager for Naval Air Systems Command’s Maritime Patrol and Reconnaissance Aircraft program office.
This is the first P-8A to include a new CFM56-7BE engine configuration that is now standard on all delivered Next-Generation 737s. The configuration is an improved design that includes high- and low-pressure turbine modifications. Coupled with drag reduction improvements that Boeing started phasing into 737 production earlier this year, it will result in lower fuel consumption and maintenance cost savings.
Source: ASD News
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