Boeing Starts Building First P-8A Aircraft for New Zealand

  • Our Bureau
  • 06:57 AM, March 18, 2022
  • 2819
Boeing Starts Building First P-8A Aircraft for New Zealand
P-8A maritime patrol aircraft

Boeing and Spirit AeroSystems have laid the keel beam for New Zealand’s first P-8A maritime patrol aircraft.

This process, also called ‘keeling,’ was done at the Spirit AeroSystems facility where all Boeing 737 fuselages, nacelles and pylons are designed and built.

An aircraft keel runs the length of the fuselage belly.

The panel and other fuselage components will be completed on Spirit's existing 737 production line. Spirit will ship the P-8A fuselage to a Boeing Commercial Airplanes facility in Renton, Washington for final assembly. After that, Boeing Defense, Space & Security employees will install mission systems and complete testing prior to delivery to New Zealand later this year.

In total, four Boeing P-8A Poseidon maritime patrol aircraft will eventually replace New Zealand’s current fleet of six aging P-3K2 Orion aircraft providing advanced capabilities to maintain situational awareness in neighboring waters on and below the surface of the ocean.

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