Defence officials are expected to put a purchase of nine Boeing P-8 maritime patrol aircraft into motion any day now.

According to Flight Global, Andy Miller, commander of the US Navy’s VP-30 training squadron said the decision is expected in June and could even be made in the next seven days.

The MoD plan to have three of nine P-8’s in service by 2020. The information comes from this response to a written question on the 21st of December 2015.

“The Ministry of Defence is currently engaged in detailed negotiations on the Boeing P-8 Poseidon Maritime Patrol Aircraft. As the Prime Minister announced to the House on 23 November 2015 (Official Report, column 1059), we intend for at least three of the aircraft to be in place by the end of the Parliament.”

The P-8 Poseidon is an aircraft designed for long-range anti-submarine warfare; anti-surface warfare; and intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance missions. It is capable of broad-area maritime and littoral operations. It is a derivative of the Next-Generation 737-800.

The following excerpt comes from this notification.

“The State Department has made a determination approving a possible Foreign Military Sale to the United Kingdom for P-8A Aircraft and associated equipment, training, and support. The estimated cost is $3.2 billion. The Defense Security Cooperation Agency delivered the required certification notifying Congress of this possible sale on March 24, 2016.

The Government of the United Kingdom (UK) has requested notification for the possible procurement of up to nine (9) P-8A Patrol Aircraft, associated major defense equipment, associated training, and support. The estimated cost is $3.2 billion.

The UK is a close ally and an important partner on critical foreign policy and defense issues. The proposed sale will enhance U.S. foreign policy and national security objectives by enhancing the UK’s capabilities to provide national defense and contribute to NATO and coalition operations.

The proposed sale will allow the UK to re-establish its Maritime Surveillance Aircraft (MSA) capability that it divested when it cancelled the Nimrod MRA4 Maritime Patrol Aircraft (MPA) program. The United Kingdom has retained core skills in maritime patrol and reconnaissance following the retirement of the Nimrod aircraft through Personnel Exchange Programs (PEPs). The MSA has remained the United Kingdom’s highest priority unfunded requirement. The P-8A aircraft would fulfill this requirement. The UK will have no difficulty absorbing these aircraft into its armed forces.”

The UK P-8s are also to perform search-and-rescue missions and conduct overland reconnaissance. Deliveries of the P-8’s are to begin before 2020. Whether the aircraft will carry UK weapons and sonobuoys has yet to be decided. It is also unclear whether the UK will have access to future ground-surveillance capabilities being developed for the P-8.

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Nikhilesh Ganesh

We already have it .


You have the P8 yes….

But I am pretty sure the systems/Sensors will be VERY different as the Indian ones are not the same as the US ones apart from the airframe.

UK Defence Journal


Nikhilesh Ganesh

Late to the party

UK Defence Journal

How many supercarriers does India have? How many fifth generation aircraft?

Nikhilesh Ganesh

How many does UK have ? I don’t think so they have even one ? Btw how many operational Aircraft Carriers do you have ? Okay lets not get into this. It was jibe. Lets discuss something else.

James Staffordson

Takes slightly longer to build your own rather than buying second hand ones lined up for decommissioning.

Nikhilesh Ganesh

Haha we have built one and commissioning it next year. What happened to the F-35’s?

Steve Lee

We’ve already taken delivery of F-35s.

Nikhilesh Ganesh

For training and testing, as platform it is not yet ready and they haven’t taken deliver of any aircraft.

UK Defence Journal

The UK has taken delivery of F-35, keep up. How many SSN’s and SSBN’s does India have? How many SIGINT platforms? How many strategic sea lift vessels?

Paul Jones

How many of our 60 year old aircraft carriers and 40 year old harriers has India got? We may not yet have the super carriers ready or the F35s in service, but we soon will.. and they will be far and away the most advanced in the world..

Kent Reynolds

Don’t feed the trolls 🙂

Peter Vine

I’d take the F35 far sooner than some over the hill MIG-29K…


I’m voting for Brexit but can’t help think our defence budget will take a pounding.


Defence budget can’t take a pounding as we have to spend a % of GDP to be a member of NATO.

Jake Hayes

I know this sounds silly and I know what the role is but can you use it to drop laser guided bombs on a surface land and sea? I know the French have done something similar I belive against isis with theirs.

UK Defence Journal

France are dropping laser guided bombs on IS with their MPA’s?

Jake Hayes

I believe so as stupid as I sound I saw it on a page if I can find it.

Jake Hayes

I was wrong about the isis part but maybe this will help?

Chris Power

They can certainly drop GBU-12 (self designating), not sure if its been done in anger

Nikhilesh Ganesh

It has internal and external pods so I think it is possible.

Jake Hayes

Okay thanks

Michael Karl Dawes

Possible but not advisable. Would much prefer they invest in ASuW with an advanced ASCM capability.

Graham Haxell

Only 9? Penny pinching!

Jason Owens

Graham, do you have an Aston Martin?

Christopher Kent

Last time I check 9 was still a higher number than 0.

James Staffordson

9? so 5 operational and 4 used for parts lol

Nikhilesh Ganesh

That is almost 2,25 billion dollars, spending 24% of your defence budget is expensive. And after that you have to include the armaments and training and bases + maintenance costs.

Steve Lee

Are you saying that £2B is 25% of our budget?

UK Defence Journal


Nikhilesh Ganesh

Steve Lee Sorry that was 4% not 24 typo did not notice that. 4% of your total budget is a high figure, UK budget is around 56 billion.

Steve Lee

Ok so £2B over their lifetime of say 25 years sounds pretty good, don’t you think?

Toby Parr

9 is still a decent number, yes 12, 15, 18 or whatever is a bonus, but with 9 that still ensures we could potentially have for example a whole 3 out at once, and then another 3 to go out when the others come back, and then still have 3 more spare that could be deployed overseas for example. And we never had multiple Nimrods out at once at any time any way, maybe 1 or 2 a most for UK coastal patrol. A single aircraft for example could monitor pack of Russian surface vessels for up to 4 hours… Read more »


These can be given to the RN to operate no need for the RAF to get their grubby little hands on them!

Bloke down the pub

Depending on whether the government think it’d be good to publicise this purchase or not, I wonder if the announcement will be made on 23rd June. It’ll be a good day to bury all sorts of news that they don’t want to receive too much scrutiny.

Paul Laycock

This is great news. For too long we’ve had a critical capability gap, which for a maritime nation was an embarrassment.

Toby Parr

Glad they are finally coming, but the timing again is too slow. The first 3 by 2020 is OK, but when will the actual first be operational? I hope it’s no later then 2017, as right now there are potential threats that really need MPA aircraft to address them with. As well as them taking the pressure off the surface fleet for interception of foreign naval/hostile vessels.

David Anthony Simpson