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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Mr Bell

Not a bad price for such a highly capable MPA. Reckon we should go for another 5-6 P8As in a few years time= SDSR2020

Mike Saul

Given the cost of procuring and supporting the MRA4, the P8 purchase looks a bargain.


This Government’s newly found enthusiasm for a modern Industrial Strategy has seen it go for off-the-shelf solution to satisfy its military equipment needs, in the shape of the Boeing P-8A Poseidon maritime patrol aircraft. Whereas the Ministry of Defence will not come out and say so publicly, it is clear that MoD’s preference for looking at the off-the-shelf solution as its first and foremost option, when deciding on which military equipment to buy, has been the determining factor in its choice of the P-8A. After being misled by UK-based defence equipment manufacturers with false promises and lies for several decades,… Read more »


The contract includes a mess of other things apart from the aircraft so what mathematics was used to get the 250 million price tag?


sorry wrong place for reply but while I am here…

” … elite politicians, senior civil servants, military top brass..” Elite????


“..misled by UK-based defence equipment manufacturers with false promises and lies for several decades..”

Both stupid and patently false. I assume the commentator lives in the vicinity of the Kremlin.

Bruce Sellers

Interesting and well thought out reply- thank you. It hadn’t occurred to me about the AAR issue. Everyday is a school day!

John Clark

The lack of AAR is unfortunate, but its not a show stopper. Great to see a capable piece of kit like the P8 with RAF roundels and I hope it fires a warning shot across BAE Systems bow. The Anglo French UCAV demonstrators will likely turn into the next money pit, unless other players are brought in. I would like to see the UK, France US and Japan collaborate on an operational system, ( capable of a wide range of tasks, including working with the P8) it needs to be built in sufficient numbers that reduce the acquisition cost to… Read more »

geoffrey james roach

If only….


Maybe if they had persevered with the Nimrod it would have turned out cheaper over the long term. Skills that have now been lost which take a long time to regain.

geoffrey james roach

No no no Nimrod is dead…long live Poseidon.