Boeing’s team spirit

Spirit AeroSystems has joined Boeing’s P-8A Poseidon team, which is developing the US Navy’s long-range anti-submarine and anti-ship warfare, intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance aircraft.

Spirit will build the 737 aircraft’s fuselage and airframe tail sections and struts in Wichita, Kansas, and then ship the components to Boeing’s factory in Renton, Washington, for final assembly

Buck Buchanan, Spirit AeroSystems vice-president, said: ‘The structures we will deliver 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 P-8A is capable of maritime and seashore operations, and is derived from the Next-Generation 737-800.

The US 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. It is expected to be operational in 2013.

Other members of the Poseidon team include Northrop Grumman and Raytheon.