Spirit AeroSystems joins P-8A Poseidon team

Boeing has picked Spirit AeroSystems as part of its industry team to develop a next-generation aircraft for the U.S. Navy.

The Boeing Company (Seattle, Wash.) announced on Aug. 9 that Spirit AeroSystems (Wichita, Kan.) has joined its P-8A Poseidon industry team, which is developing the U.S. Navy’s next-generation, long-range anti-submarine warfare, anti-surface warfare, intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance aircraft.

The P-8A is a derivative of the Next-Generation Boeing 737-800. Spirit will build the 737 aircraft’s fuselage and airframe tail sections and struts in Wichita, Kan. After completion, Spirit will ship the components to Boeing facilities in Renton, Wash., for final assembly and introduction of mission-specific systems.

The U.S. Navy plans to purchase 108 P-8As to replace its fleet of P-3C aircraft. Boeing will deliver the first aircraft for flight test in 2009, with initial operational capability slated for 2013. The P-8A is capable of broad-area, maritime and littoral operations. The P-8A, says Boeing, combines superior performance and reliability with an advanced mission system that ensures maximum interoperability in the future battlespace. The Boeing-led P-8A team also includes CFM International, Northrop Grumman, Raytheon and Smiths Aerospace.