Harris Corporation has been awarded contracts to provide Boeing with sonobuoy launching technology for the P-8 Poseidon anti-submarine aircraft.

The contracts were awarded during the third quarter of Harris’ fiscal 2017.

Harris will provide single-shot and rotary launchers capable of rapidly deploying up to ten sonobuoys. The lightweight, pneumatic launchers will enable 49 P-8As for US, Australian and United Kingdom aircraft to ‘safely and effectively deploy sonobuoys’, which are essential to conducting underwater acoustic surveillance.

Ed Zoiss, president, Harris Electronic Systems said:

“The P-8A will be at the center of the U.S. and its allies’ anti-submarine and anti-surface warfare missions for the foreseeable future.

Harris technology dramatically improves on existing sonobuoy launching capabilities, helping to enable this important mission.”

Recently, the first two P-8 Poseidon aircraft for the United Kingdom were ordered under a $2.2bn contract.

Boeing was awarded the contract for at least 17 P-8 Poseidon aircraft. The agreement also includes options for 32 additional aircraft, as well as money for long-lead parts for future orders. After exercising all options, the total contract value will be $6.8 billion.

In November 2015, the UK announced its intention to order nine P-8 aircraft as part of the Strategic Defence and Security Review 2015. The aircraft are to be based at RAF Lossiemouth, Scotland and be used to protect the UK’s nuclear deterrent and new aircraft carriers, as well as to perform search-and-rescue and overland reconnaissance missions.

In March 2016, the US State Department approved a proposed Foreign Military Sale to the UK for up to nine P-8 aircraft and associated support, at an estimated cost of $3.2 billion.

The Royal Air Force plans to operate the P-8 with US weapons initially, and possibly transition to British weapons later.

Jamie Burgess, vice president of Boeing Military Aircraft’s Mobility, Surveillance & Engagement division and the P-8 programme manager said:

“The P-8A is a textbook example of Boeing’s commercial derivative expertise. Every day our customers get to fly incredible aircraft that perform exceptionally well and are built by the best of Boeing.”

The US Navy will receive 11 aircraft, while Australia will expand its P-8A fleet with four more.

Manufacture of the British aircraft will be spread across three production lots over a ten-year period, with deliveries commencing in 2019.

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Nick Bowman

If a $2.2 billion contract was signed for two aircraft, how is the total cost for nine going to be $3.2 billion? We are going to get seven for a billion?


we get them from poundland?

Steven Jones

Are you not familiar with UK MOD’s “unique” mathematic skills, they have a long history of interest conclusions 🙂


You will find the $2.2 billion contract was a multi aircraft buy including US orders and possibly those of other nations. Australia has linked in her orders with US orders reducing purchse costs so likely the UK did so too.


Seriously – why does it take us 10yrs to get just 9 aircraft?? As discussed before, it will mean a 17yr gap to have our MPA capability fully restored after the disastrous 2010 SDSR. That’s just not acceptable…..


We would have had 9 perfectly good MPAs operating by now but SDSR 2010 saw to that.


The physical aircraft are only a “part” of the overall purchase. Before the aircraft arrive all support equipment, infrastructure (C4 systems etc) and training has to be in place and this costs money. All early lead items need to be purchased (radar, electronic equipment and weapons), all of this gets done in lots. It is not unusual to spend more “up front” for both CDEL and RDEL – as stated above the way HMG buys things (P-8 is a capability of which the aircraft is just one part) is unique. Remember this is a department (MOD) that is paying nearly… Read more »


How do the US sonobouys compare with the UK ones? Are we getting an improvement in operation from this mess?