Aircraft manufacturer Boeing Co. will build 16 more P-8A Poseidon long-range maritime spy planes for the Navy under the terms of a newly awarded $2.1 billion contract, the U.S. Defense Department announced Tuesday.
The Chicago-based company said the agreement was actually worth $2.4 billion, because of earlier monies received for materials that take more time to acquire, Reuters reported
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The Defense Department approved the order as part of the Navy's 2014 fiscal budget.
Earlier this week, Australia ordered eight P-8A spy planes for $3.6 billion
as Asia-Pacific nations spend to protect commercial maritime interests amid rising tensions in the area.
Based on Boeing's 737-800 commercial airplane, the P-8A spy plane will replace the U.S. Navy's P-3 spy planes, which have enjoyed more than 40 years of service.
Navy P-8A program manager Captain Scott Dillon told Reuters that the deal would guarantee continued "cost-effective procurement" of the maritime spy planes.
The new order is scheduled to be filled by April 2017 and will bring the number of aircraft ordered by the Navy to 53.
While planes are being ordered for the Navy, a proposal from the Department of Defense may eliminate the Air Force's fleet of A-10 Thunderbolts, Fox Business reported
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