The US Navy has awarded Boeing a $1.5 billion contract modification for work on the delivery of an additional 18 P-8A Poseidon maritime patrol aircraft.
The latest award is for eight units for the US Navy, six for the Republic of Korea Navy and four aircraft for the Royal New Zealand Air Force.
South Korea and New Zealand signed contracts for the purchase of the submarine hunters in 2018. New Zealand is slated to receive first units in 2022 with South Korea following suit a year later.
The P-8 is a long-range multi-mission maritime patrol aircraft capable of broad-area, maritime and littoral operations. Poseidons can carry 129 sonobuoys for submarine detection. Additionally, they can field Harpoon anti-surface ship missiles and Mk 54 torpedoes capable of attacking both surface and sub-surface targets.
Boeing and the US Navy started development work on the P.3C Orion successor in June 2004. The aircraft is based on a modified Boeing 737-800ERX airliner.
In addition to the US, South Korea and New Zealand, the aircraft is, or will be, operated by India, UK, and Norway.