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Boeing Gets $1.5 Bln Production Contract From US Navy

boeing march31 lt

Aircraft major Boeing Co. (BA) received a $1.5 billion production contract from the U.S. Navy for the next trance of 18 P-8A Poseidon aircraft.

The contract includes eight aircraft for the U.S. Navy, six for the Republic of Korea Navy and four for the Royal New Zealand Air Force.

The U.S. Navy's contract comes at a time when the aircraft maker continues to struggle amid the 737 Max crisis and COVID-19 pandemic impacts. Boeing recently sought $60 billion in U.S. government loan guarantees and other assistance.

The P-8A maritime surveillance aircraft is a military version of the Boeing Next-Generation 737-800 commercial aircraft and will replace the U.S. Navy's ageing P-3 Orion fleet.

Acquired through the Foreign Military Sales process, the Republic of Korea Navy and Royal New Zealand Air Force will receive the same P-8A Poseidon variant designed and produced for the U.S. Navy.

The Royal New Zealand Air Force will start receiving aircraft in 2022 and the Republic of Korea Navy in 2023.

The P-8 is equipped with maritime weapons and a bomb bay and pylons for weapons. It has two weapons stations on each wing and can carry 129 sonobuoys. The aircraft also boasts of an in-flight refueling system.

The P-8A Poseidon and P-8I variant used by the Indian Navy patrol perform anti-submarine and anti-surface warfare; intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance; humanitarian; and search and rescue missions.

Reports say that Boeing plans to restart the production of grounded 737 MAX by May. However, it will depend on the scale of disruptions due to coronavirus as well as clearance from the U.S. regulators.

The 737 Max, Boeing's best-selling aircraft, were grounded by airlines worldwide in March 2019 following two deadly crashes within a short span of five months that killed a total of 346 people.

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