(Reuters) - The U.S. Navy is expected to announce on Wednesday that Boeing Co's P-8A aircraft, a long-range maritime surveillance plane based on the company's 737 airliner, is ready for initial operational use, sources familiar with the program said.
The Navy plans to buy 117 of the new anti-submarine and anti-surface warfare planes to replace its P-3 spy planes built by Lockheed Martin Corp.
Boeing says the new aircraft will provide more combat capability for the Navy using a smaller force and less infrastructure than the P-3s. The P-8As have an extended global reach, greater payload capacity, higher operating altitude, and an open systems architecture that make it easier to implement future upgrades.
I remember watching the P-3s fly over in the early 80's and thinking "Those things look ancient!"