The U.S. Navy's new long-range maritime surveillance and reconnaissance aircraft has been officially unveiled at the Boeing facility in Renton, Washington. The P-8A Poseidon will provide anti-submarine and anti-surface warfare capabilities and offers greater payload capacity and advanced software and communications over the P-3C Orion which it is scheduled to replace from 2013.

The T1 test aircraft completed its first flight in April and formal flight testing of the P-8A will begin later this year.

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A derivative of the Next-Generation 737-800, the P-8A is built by a Boeing-led industry team that includes CFM International, Northrop Grumman, Raytheon, Spirit AeroSystems and GE Aviation.

The first five P-8As are currently being built with the Navy eventually planning to purchase 117 of the new aircraft.

"The P-8A Poseidon will equip the U.S. Navy with the most advanced multi-mission maritime patrol and reconnaissance aircraft in the world," said Jim Albaugh, president and CEO of Boeing Integrated Defense Systems.

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