Friday, March 1, 2024

Canada to acquire up to 16 Poseidon aircraft

The Canadian government announced the conclusion of a government-to-government agreement with the United States (US) for the procurement of up to 16 Boeing P-8A Poseidon aircraft for the Royal Canadian Air Force (RCAF).

This agreement includes the acquisition of 14 multi-mission aircraft, with an option to expand the fleet by an additional two units.

The P-8A Poseidon will replace Canada’s aging CP-140 Aurora maritime patrol aircraft, in service for over 40 years. The decision stems from challenges in maintaining the CP-140, escalating maintenance costs, and its reduced operational relevance against evolving threats.

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Following extensive evaluation, the government determined the P-8A as the optimal choice due to its unmatched anti-submarine warfare capabilities and advanced intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance (ISR) functionalities. Moreover, it aligns seamlessly with allied fleets, being used by all Five Eyes partners—the US, the UK, Australia, and New Zealand—alongside other defense allies.

The projected investment for this project totals $10.4 billion CAD, covering around $5.9 billion USD for the P-8A, associated equipment, training devices, and sustainment setup. The remaining funds will support simulators, infrastructure, and armaments.

The RCAF requires enhanced capabilities for maritime and overland surveillance, command, control, communications, and reconnaissance (C4ISR) functions. The P-8A’s sophisticated sensors and weaponry will bolster Arctic security, safeguard national sovereignty, and fulfill commitments to NATO, NORAD, and other obligations.

Scheduled for initial delivery in 2026, subsequent aircraft will arrive at an average rate of one per month, potentially completing the fleet by fall 2027. Full operational capability is expected by 2033.

Simultaneously, Boeing pledges meaningful engagements and targeted investments in Canada’s aerospace and defense sector. These initiatives aim to integrate Canadian companies into global supply chains, promote clean technologies, and support skills development and training.

Boeing’s economic commitments could generate over 3000 jobs annually in Canadian industries and value chain partners, contribute at least $358 million annually to Canada’s gross domestic product over a decade, and yield substantial benefits to numerous Canadian companies.

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Executive Editor

About author:

Colton Jones
Colton Jones
Colton Jones is the deputy editor of Defence Blog. He is a US-based journalist, writer and publisher who specializes in the defense industry in North America and Europe. He has written about emerging technology in military magazines and elsewhere. He is a former Air Force airmen and served at the Ramstein Air Base in Germany.

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