Boeing press release
A derivative of the Boeing 737 Next-Generation commercial aircraft, the P-8 is first assembled at Boeing Commercial Airplanes’ 737 production line, where the fuselage receives additional wiring and systems needed to support military components, equipment and operation. The aircraft is then delivered to Boeing’s Defense, Space & Security unit for the installation of military systems, testing and delivery to military customers.
“Boeing uses a proven in-line production process to efficiently build the aircraft,” said Christian Thomsen, P-8A Europe program manager. “Implementing established best practices and common, commercial production-system tools enables the team to reduce flow time and cost while ensuring quality and on-time delivery to our customers.”
Norway is expected to receive its first P-8 later this year. In total, five P-8s will eventually replace Norway’s current fleet of six P-3 Orions and three DA-20 Jet Falcons and will provide advanced capabilities to maintain situational awareness in neighboring waters on and below the surface of the ocean.
To date, Boeing has delivered 104 P-8 aircraft to the U.S. Navy and customers in Australia, India and the United Kingdom.
About the P-8A MPA
The P-8A is a long-range multi-mission maritime patrol aircraft capable of broad-area, maritime and littoral operations. A military derivative of the Boeing Commercial Next-Generation 737 airplane, the P-8A combines superior performance and reliability with an advanced mission system that ensures maximum interoperability in the battle space.
The P-8A is militarized with maritime weapons, a modern open mission system architecture, and commercial-like support for affordability. The aircraft has been modified to include a bomb bay and pylons for weapons – two weapons stations on each wing – and can carry 129 sonobuoys. The aircraft is also fitted with an in-flight refueling system. With more than 180,000 flight hours to date, P-8 variants, the P-8A Poseidon and the P-8I, patrol the globe performing anti-submarine and anti-surface warfare; intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance; humanitarian; and search and rescue missions.
Norway is one of six international customers for the P-8A Poseidon, with the first aircraft delivery expected in 2022. The first British Poseidon MRA Mk1 took flight for the first time in mid-July 2019. As a direct commercial sale, India has received eight of the P-8I variant to date with four more in production. The U.S. Navy is on contract to receive 111 with the potential for additional quantities based on the fleet’s needs. As a cooperative partner with the Maritime Patrol and Reconnaissance Program Office, Australia began receiving their P-8A aircraft in 2016 with eight delivered and four more in production; both New Zealand and South Korea have signed agreements with the U.S. Navy to purchase four and six aircraft respectively.