ST. LOUIS --- Boeing on Monday began final assembly of the first P-8A Poseidon for the U.S. Navy. The P-8A will provide increased capability in long-range anti-submarine warfare, anti-surface warfare, intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance.
The start of final assembly follows closely on the heels of Spirit AeroSystems' delivery of the first P-8A fuselage to Boeing in Renton, Wash. Mechanics loaded the fuselage into a tooling fixture and began installing systems, wires, tubing and other small parts. Boeing will join the P-8A's wings to its body later this year.
"The Navy expects us to meet each and every commitment, and achieving this milestone demonstrates that the P-8A team is up to the task, "said Bob Feldmann, Boeing vice president and P-8A program manager. “Our Boeing Commercial Airplanes and Spirit AeroSystems teammates deserve credit for their outstanding performance and teamwork in building the wings and fuselage for the first test aircraft."
Boeing Integrated Defense Systems and Boeing Commercial Airplanes are working together to build the P-8A, a military derivative of the 737-800, on a new, third final-assembly production line in Renton, Wash. The third line takes advantage of the proven efficiencies, manufacturing processes and performance of the highly reliable Next-Generation 737. Using established best practices and common commercial production system tools enables Boeing to reduce flow-time and cost while ensuring first-pass quality.
"We are honored to support the men and women who serve our country, and take great pride in building the Navy's newest production aircraft here in Renton," said Mo Yahyavi, Boeing vice president and P-8 program manager for Boeing Commercial Airplanes.
The P-8A is built by a Boeing-led industry team that includes CFM International, Northrop Grumman, Raytheon, Spirit AeroSystems and GE Aviation. Under the current System Development and Demonstration contract, the team will build five test vehicles: three flight-test and two ground-test aircraft. Delivery of the first test aircraft to the Navy and first flight are scheduled for 2009.
The Navy plans to purchase 108 P-8As to replace its fleet of P-3C aircraft. Initial operational capability is slated for 2013.
Boeing is the world's leading aerospace company and the largest manufacturer of commercial jetliners and military aircraft combined. Headquartered in Chicago, Boeing employs more than 150,000 people across the United States and in 70 countries.
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Boeing Begins Final Assembly of 1st P-8A Poseidon