Following the news that the US Navy placed an order $1.6bn for 11 P-8 aircraft; Mathew George, Ph.D, Analyst, Aerospace, Defense and Security at GlobalData, a leading data and analytics company, offers his view:
“The present order for the US Navy of nine was first scheduled for June 2020, according to Budget documents, but was delayed until now. This should show that the US Navy is now able to place the final order and Boeing is at a level to produce these aircraft to deliver. In addition, a development in December 2020 where Australia approved the purchase of two additional P-8 aircraft have also been included into the order.
“Other countries affected will include New Zealand, the first aircraft for which was expected in 2022. However, the present timeline looks more likely to be 2023. At the same time, this would suggest that Australia’s final order would be 14 aircraft, instead of a possible 15.
“Nonetheless, these delays do not look like it would significantly be affected any further with the necessary mitigation steps having been taken. With this effectively being the last order for the US Navy, this program is looking at close out unless there is a major order from one of the allies, chances of which, in the present environment, remain slim.”