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FARNBOROUGH: Boeing eyes international orders for P-8A Poseidon

Boeing has not signed any extra customers for its P-8A Poseidon maritime patrol aircraft, but the company expects to sign addition nations on after the aircraft becomes operational with the US Navy.

The P-8A is set to become operational in 2013, says Chris Chadwick, president of Boeing Military Aircraft. The programme is on schedule and on budget, he adds. The first few aircraft are already being used to train new aircrews in Jacksonville, Florida.

The US Navy plans to buy a total of 117 of the aircraft. India has ordered 12, but could buy more. Meanwhile, Chadwick says there has been strong interest in the aircraft from other foreign buyers.

Boeing is also pitching derivatives of the 737 airliner, on which the P-8A is based, for any mission currently flown by 707-based military aircraft. Those include a host of US Air Force and some US Navy platforms.

However, the USAF has said it is likely to solider on with its current fleet for the time being.

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