In a significant move, the Canadian military has officially announced a $5.9 billion deal with Boeing to acquire P-8A Poseidons. The agreement involves the purchase of 14 aircraft initially, with an option for two additional planes. These Boeing-made Poseidons are set to replace Canada’s aging CP-140 Aurora maritime patrol aircraft, which has been in service for over 40 years.
The Canadian Defence Minister, Bill Blair, confirmed during a news conference that the P-8A Poseidons are expected to be delivered by the fall of 2027, and the entire fleet is anticipated to be fully operational by 2033. Blair emphasized the need for a reliable replacement, citing the challenges in maintaining the aging CP-140 fleet.
The P-8A Poseidon is a proven capability operated by Canada’s “Five Eyes” allies—the United States, United Kingdom, Australia, and New Zealand. Minister Blair highlighted the importance of opting for an established aircraft rather than exploring options still in development, citing the geopolitical landscape and potential adversaries.
The Royal Canadian Air Force, currently utilizing the CP-140 for operations worldwide, will benefit from enhanced capabilities with the P-8A. The new fleet aligns with Canada’s strategic goals, particularly in addressing increasing threats, notably in the Arctic region.
The unexpected decision to skip a planned competition and request pricing from the U.S. for the P-8s in March 2023 raised eyebrows. Despite political lobbying efforts by Bombardier and its partners, including General Dynamics Mission Systems-Canada, the State Department approved the sale of 16 P-8A aircraft and related equipment in June.
Boeing, already collaborating with numerous Canadian suppliers, sees this deal as a means to strengthen Canada’s defense capability and readiness. Heidi Grant, President of Business Development for Boeing’s defense business, expressed enthusiasm, stating, “Together with our Canadian partners, we will deliver a strong industrial and technological benefit package that guarantees continued prosperity to Canada’s aerospace and defense industry.”
This significant investment in Boeing’s P-8A Poseidons marks a pivotal moment for Canada’s military capabilities and underscores the ongoing partnership between Boeing and Canadian aerospace and defense entities.
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