Boeing begins building sub hunters

Boeing began assembly this week at its Renton plant of the first of what will be 117 sub-hunting aircraft.

The Navy P-8A is a military version of Boeing’s popular 737 single-aisle passenger jet. The plane is modified to carry sophisticated electronic gear to track submarines and surface vessels. The aircraft will also carry weapons to destroy submarines.

The company has already built seven of the P-8A aircraft for testing. This week’s assembly start will begin production of aircraft being constructed for the U.S. Navy.

That first aircraft will be delivered to the Navy next year and go into regular service replacing the Navy’s P-3 subhunter.