Boeing has confirmed that the first P-8A Poseidon production aircraft completed its first flight on July 7.
July 20: Boeing confirmed that the first P-8A Poseidon production aircraft completed its first flight on July 7. BuNo 168428 took off from the company’s Renton Field and landing three hours later at Boeing Field in Seattle. Designated LRIP-1, it is the first of six low-rate initial production (LRIP) aircraft Boeing is building for the US Navy as part of a $1.6 billion contract awarded in January.
Boeing will deliver LRIP-1 to the US Navy next year in preparation for initial operational capability, planned for 2013. “This is the first P-8 that will go directly to the fleet in Jacksonville, Florida, 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 programme manager. “We’re on plan to get LRIP-1 to the Navy in 2012.”
The US Navy plans to purchase 117 P-8A Poseidons for anti-submarine warfare, anti-surface warfare, intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance, replacing its P-3 Orion fleet. LRIP-1 is the first P-8A to include a new CFM56-7BE engine configuration that is now standard on all delivered Next-Generation 737 airliners. 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.