The Boeing P-8A Poseidon has been found to be "operationally effective, operationally suitable, and ready for fleet introduction", the US Navy says in a 1 July initial operational test and evaluation (IOT&E) report.
With the successful completion its IOT&E phase, the Pentagon is likely to approve the 737-based maritime patrol and surveillance asset for full-rate production in the near future.
"It is a great day for the navy and the fleet," says Capt Scott Dillon, the US Naval Air Systems Command's programme manager for the P-8A. "We are proud to add the P-8 to the navy's weapons inventory and the deployment cycle later this year."
The P-8A is scheduled for its first operational deployment towards the end of 2013, according the USN. So far, Boeing has delivered six test aircraft and nine low-rate initial production examples to the service, which is ultimately expected to buy a total of 117 Poseidons.