P-8 team members gathered at Boeing Field in Seattle to celebrate the completion of the 100th P-8 aircraft, joined by customers from the U.S. Navy, the Indian Navy and the Royal Australian Air Force as well as representatives from the industry team and the supplier base. The P-8 is a derivative of the Renton-built 737, and is made primarily in Washington.
“The 100th P-8 is a testament to the skills, collaboration and dedication of our entire team”, said Jay Sutorius, P-8 program manager. “P-8 has been called a model commercial development program. That’s because of the people from all across the enterprise and our partners who make it happen. I could not be more proud of our team.”
Boeing employees from Commercial, Defense, Test & Evaluation and Global Services work together to seamlessly produce, test, deliver, provide training and maintain the P-8. Many employees have been with the program for years, if not since before Boeing won the initial System Design and Development contract in 2004.
”We meet the customer almost every day,” said Roger Johnson, Boeing Test & Evaluation. “It’s an honor to give this [aircraft] over to them and to watch them fly it, take it out on deployment and be successful with it.”
The 100 aircraft completed to date include six test aircraft of the P-8A Poseidon variant provided to the U.S. Navy during the initial stages of the program. Boeing also tested those aircraft during development to assess capabilities and performance. As development of system enhancements and new technology continues, test aircraft perform a critical role in ensuring Boeing provides state-of-the-art capabilities to customers flying the P-8A.
The Indian Navy flies the P-8I variant and became the first international customer for the P-8 in January 2009. They are currently flying their aircraft out of the Rajali Naval Air Station in India already proving the P-8Is capabilities during humanitarian and anti-piracy missions.
P-8s have accumulated more than 150,000 flight hours to date performing missions around the world. The first U.S. Navy fleet P-8 recently completed Maintenance, Repair and Overhaul, returning to the U.S. Navy in September from the maintenance site in Atlanta, GA.
The P-8, Boeing’s anti-submarine and anti-surface warfare; intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance aircraft, is based on the 737-800 Next Generation airplane. It is produced along the same commercial assembly line as the 737 and then delivered to Boeing Defense for the installation of military sensors and equipment before delivery to the customer. It is the first commercial derivative product to use this in-line production approach.
By Nanette Feeney