Boeing has been awarded a $282m contract for procurement of long lead parts for 19 Lot 10 P-8A aircraft for the U.S. Navy (10) and the governments of Norway (5) and the United Kingdom (4).

The UK intends to procure 9 of the aircraft in total and has already ordered 5, this work begins the procurement of the remaining 4.

According to a contract award notice, work will be performed in Seattle, Washington (82.5 percent); Baltimore, Maryland (2.7 percent); Greenlawn, New York (2.4 percent); Cambridge, United Kingdom (1.6 percent); North Amityville, New York (.9 percent); Rockville, Illinois (.7 percent); Rancho Santa Margarita, California (.6 percent); Dickinson, North Dakota (.6 percent), and various locations throughout the United States (8 percent), and is expected to be completed in March 2022.

“Fiscal 2018 aircraft procurement (Navy) and foreign military sales funds in the amount of $282,275,771 will be obligated at time of award, none of which will expire at the end of the current fiscal year.  

This modification combines purchases for the U.S. Navy ($140,333,000; 49.7 percent); the governments of Norway ($81,110,155; 28.7 percent) and the United Kingdom ($60,832,616; 21.6 percent) under the Foreign Military Sales program.  The Naval Air Systems Command, Patuxent River, Maryland, is the contracting activity.”

Recently James Gray, Conservative Member of Parliament for North Wiltshire, has outlined his concerns at the proposed number of P-8 Maritime Patrol Aircraft the UK is to purchase.

Gray said in response to a question regarding his level of concern at the cuts the Minsitry of Defence is facing:

“More than anything else, the thinking about the possibility of a cold-weather threat is something that we have had and have contributed to NATO for 40 years. This year, at least, we are downgrading it. I am told that the MOD are going to bring it back up again the following year, but I will believe that when I see it, quite frankly. I very much hope they will.

The same applies to maritime patrol aircraft, which are terribly important in all this. All right, we are getting them but only eight [nine] —the P-8s. Will they be enough really to monitor what is happening with Russian submarine activity in the North Atlantic?

Our under-ice capability previously was largely to monitor Russian SSBN activity out of Murmansk and elsewhere along the Arctic coast. Without that capability and regular patrols under the ice in the north, do we really know what the Russians are doing with their submarines? Are we allowing the bastion concept, which stretches on the map at least theoretically as far as the Shetland Islands—are we really able to check what is happening there?

I think we risk reducing our capability in the High North. Generals always fight the last war. Everyone is very fussed at the moment about terrorism, counter-insurgency, Syria, Iraq and all that, and quite rightly should be. I’m not knocking that. I just wonder whether we should start to focus our attention back to where the next war will be, or the next area of tension might be, namely the North Atlantic.”

P-8 Poseidon Quick Facts, courtesy of Boeing

  • For the P-8, Boeing uses a first-in-industry in-line production system that leverages the best of Boeing Commercial and Boeing Defense for development and production.
  • The P-8 can fly up to 41,000 feet and travel up to 490 knots.
  • P-8 offers higher reliability – the 737 has a 99.8 percent dispatch rate, with more than 4,000 aircraft flying, and 6,600+ orders.
  • The P-8 is engineered for 25 years/25,000 hours in the harshest maritime flight regimes, including extended operations in icing environments.
  • The P-8 can fly in all flight regimes, and can self-deploy up to 4,500 miles from base without refueling.
  • Dual CFM-56B commercial engines each provide 27,000 pounds of thrust, greatly enhancing climb and flight characteristics over turboprop equipped aircraft.
  • Each engine is equipped with a 180KVA engine driven generator.  Combined with the 90KVA commercial APU, this provides 450KVA of power. P-8 possesses significant growth capacity for equipment with excess onboard power and cooling capacity.
  • P-8 has twice the sonobuoy processing capability and can carry 30 percent more sonobuoys than any maritime patrol and reconnaissance aircraft currently flying.
  • P-8 has the ability to control unmanned air vehicles (level 2 control-receive) to extend sensor reach.
  • P-8 offers commonality with 737 fleet and other military platforms that use the 737 airframe.

The aircraft are to be based at RAF Lossiemouth in Scotland and be used to protect the UK’s nuclear deterrent and new aircraft carriers. The P-8s are also to perform search-and-rescue missions and conduct overland reconnaissance.


  1. Since Russia has announced defence cuts and will not be updating their only aircraft carrier, I really wonder who we are supposed to believe the current enemy is?

    • Not many people worried about a cross channel invasion Peder. But subs? Rolling over Baltics or going over the top of Scandinavia – that’s another matter. Sweden has just introduced conscription again, so worried are they.

    • Who are the current burglars in your town or village Peder?

      Not that you know of?

      Do you have locks on your doors and windows? regardless, just in case?

      Yes you do.

      Whether there is a clear and present danger or a defined enemy out there or not, countries have armed forces with a range of capabilities just in case. Reacting after the event rather than being prepared is incredibly naive.

      • Peder, its Russia. Waves of subs coming through the GIUK gap, its their nuclear capable stealthy cruise missiles. Its their massive land invasions of scandanavia and the baltic states.

    • I don’t understand why the existence of a ‘current enemy’ or not is of any particular relevance to the purchase of these aircraft. It can be argued that Russia is a threat, however you may disagree. That’s not quite the point given the blindingly obvious point that Britain is an island nation. Having a relatively small fleet of aircraft capable of monitoring the UK’s EEZ and sea lanes in both peacetime and wartime is sensible. I think you’ll see that once in operation these planes will carry out a wide variety of non-conflict work such as search and rescue coordination, EEZ protection etc etc.

    • Unfortunately there are far too many people like that in our society already, especially amongst younger people who have known no different.

      • I think that that view is a product of the minds of older people to be honest. I’ve not met a single person my age who believes that Russia are not a threat. People either think they are or know that they have too little knowledge of the subject to have an opinion. Most are familiar with their little trip to Crimea, so I wouldn’t say that we are unaware of what Putin is willing to do in terms of the military.

        • Hope so Evan P. I recall someone else got a ticking off from you for speaking too disparigingly of teens today.

  2. Russia is a clear threat.
    They are mass producing area denial weapons, they are building new nuclear and conventionally powered submarines in relatively large numbers.
    Thus there has never been a more pressing need for a strong armed forces, a defence budget set at 3% or more of GDP and a significant investment in the maritime area. Especially as our European allies have harvested the peace dividend and now do not appear to be very solid or capable of even self defense.

  3. Russia is a consummate scholar of history and plays the long game. I think they are being very savvy with their funding of the navy. The cost of upgrading the Kuznetsov is exorbitant, so the money is going to where they can compete and make a difference – subs. Their diesel electric subs especially the Kilos are their most exported “warship” and is known to be a quiet sub. They are starting to replace it with the Lada class that has a reputed air independent propulsion system. Further their nuclear subs are getting better with the new Yasen class replacing the Akulas.
    This is not to say they are on parity with their Western opponents, its just they have a large number of by modern standards older obsolete boats e.g. Oscars etc held in reserve, which they’ll probably use to swamp an area and disrupt lines of communication i.e. North America to Europe once something kicks off. I don’t think they really care how bad their condition will be, so long as it can fire weapons and sail.
    Do we and NATO have enough dedicated ASW frigates or MPA to deal with this threat, I know we only have half the number of subs we had during the 90s, yet facing a similar number of threats?

    • You know the answer is no DaveyB.

      Once we were strong on ASW. Last few decades it has all been about fighting insurgencies in far away desert lands and countering IED’s.

      Chickens starting to come home to roost.

  4. Could somebody please explain to me how Russia can afford to spend so much on its military,with a relatively small economy and gdp,thanks

    • Well Neal, they do it as they have very little regards for their population. Poverty in Russia is appalling, your average Russian can only stare in disbelief at the state money that’s spent on public services and benefits in a country like the UK.


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