The US Navy has taken delivery of its 100th Boeing P-8A Poseidon maritime ISR aircraft.
The delivery comes as the service’s final Lockheed P-3C Orion – the aircraft the P-8A is replacing – embarked on its final operational deployment, with the NAS Whidbey Island-based VP-40 deployed to Bahrain and Okinawa in late March.
“We intend to honour the platform’s final deployment by living the legacy of all those that have gone before us and continuing to fight to the finish,” VP-40 commanding officer Cmdr Patrick O’Reilly, told the Whidbey News-Times. Two US Navy Reserve squadrons will continue to operate the P-3C until 2022.
Developed from the civilian 737-800 airliner, the P-8A entered US Navy operational service in 2013. Of the 100 deliveries, 94 are operational and six were engineering manufacturing and development (EMD) aircraft.
Australia has also replaced its P-3C Orions with 12 P-8As and retains an option for three more, while India operates eight P-8Is, and the UK has two of a requirement of nine P-8As in service. New Zealand has four P-8As on order to replace its P-3K2 Orions from 2022.