The Boeing Company [NYSE: BA] today announced that Spirit AeroSystems 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.
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.
"We are pleased to welcome Spirit to the P-8A industry team," said Bob Feldmann, Boeing vice president and P-8A program manager. "Spirit does great work on our company's commercial aircraft, and they will be a key contributor as we build and deliver this transformational aircraft to the warfighter."
"Spirit is proud to be part of the P-8A team and is committed to the program's success," said Buck Buchanan, Spirit AeroSystems vice president/general manager, Fuselage Structures and Systems. "The structures we will deliver all have customer-unique features installed in the standard commercial line. This allows the lowest possible cost and shortest flow to the customer since our standard processes are used rather than relying on traditional techniques of modifying military planes after delivery."
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. A derivative of the Next-Generation 737-800, the P-8A 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.
Based in Wichita, Kan., Spirit AeroSystems is the world's largest independent supplier of large component parts and assemblies for commercial aircraft. Spirit designs and builds the all-composite forward fuselage for the Boeing 787 in addition to pylon and wing structures for the new airplane. Spirit produces the fuselage, engine pylons and nacelles, vertical fin and horizontal stabilizer, inboard and outboard flaps for Boeing's Next-Generation 737 family of airplanes. It also builds nose sections, nacelles and pylons for the 747, 767 and 777 aircraft, as well as slats and floor beams for the 777 and wing and fuselage components for the 747.
A unit of The Boeing Company, Boeing Integrated Defense Systems is one of the world's largest space and defense businesses specializing in innovative and capabilities-driven customer solutions. Headquartered in St. Louis, Boeing Integrated Defense Systems is a $32.4 billion business with 72,000 employees worldwide.