The US Department of Defense has awarded Boeing a US$2.469 billion contract for 20 P-8A Poseidon maritime surveillance aircraft, covering 16 aircraft for the US Navy and four for the RAAF.
The Lot III P-8A full rate production contract was announced on the US Department of Defense’s contracts website on January 28 and states the “contract combines purchase for the Navy ($2,052,571,034; 83 per cent); and the Government of Australia ($417,011,961; 17 per cent), under a cooperative agreement”.
Acquisition and production of the first four RAAF P-8As was covered by a Lot II full rate production contract awarded in August 2015.
The first P-8As for the RAAF are now in production, with the first aircraft due to roll out later this year and be delivered to Australia in early 2017. All eight are expected in service by 2021.
The Australian government announced approval of the RAAF’s acquisition of eight P-8As with options on a further four in February 2014. The extra P-8As for the RAAF are being considered as part of the forthcoming Defence White Paper, expected for release in coming months.