“The passion, pride and dedication of the Boeing workers is evident in every aircraft produced.” Those were the words of Air Marshal Leo Davies, Chief of Air Force of the Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) when he addressed Boeing, U.S. Navy, and RAAF guests at the September 27 rollout ceremony for Australia’s first P-8A Poseidon aircraft.
Air Marshal Davies, joined by BMA President Shelley Lavender and Mobility, Surveillance and Engagement VP/GM Tim Peters, along with U.S. Navy Vice Admiral Mike Shoemaker, Commander, Naval Air Forces, shared his thoughts about the capabilities the P-8A will bring to the Australian Defence Force and the proven performance of the aircraft. He referenced not only the P-8A’s primary anti-submarine warfare mission but its key role as an intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance platform during the 2014 search for the missing Malaysian Airlines MH370 flight. “The P-8s went further and stayed longer in the Indian Ocean than the other aircraft.”
Lavender and Shoemaker echoed the Air Marshal when they thanked Boeing employees for their exceptional work and recognized the success of the Boeing/US Navy/RAAF relationship in making Australia’s first P-8A Poseidon a reality.
This is the first of eight P-8As currently under contract, with four more aircraft approved by the Australian government.
The aircraft is the first commercial derivative to use an in-line production system to streamline production, increase efficiency and reduce costs—in the case of P-8, the Boeing Commercial 737 production line. Since the beginning of the program, costs have been reduced by 30% and production time has been reduced by 50 percent. The KC-46 Tanker, based on the Boeing 767, is also using the in-line production process.