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FIA18: RAF P-8A POSEIDON in Detail

UK intends to procure nine P-8

Boeing was awarded a $1.2 billion contract for the manufacture and delivery of 10 Lot 9 full-rate production P-8A aircraft, seven for the US Navy (USN) and three for the Royal Air Force (RAF).

The UK intends to procure nine of the aircraft in total and had already ordered two. This brings the orders up to five.

According to the contract award notification, work will be performed in various locations in the US and in Cambridge, UK (1.6%), and is expected to be completed in December 2020. Fiscal 2018 aircraft procurement (USN) and foreign military sales (FMS) funds in the amount of $1,232,654,575 will be obligated at time of award, none of which will expire at the end of the current fiscal year. 

This contract combines purchase for the USN (69.7%) and FMS partners (30.3 percent). Naval Air Systems Command, Patuxent River, MD/USA, was the contracting activity.

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. It can fly up to 41,000ft and travel up to 490 knots, offering high reliability – the 737 has a 99.8% dispatch rate, with more than 4,000 aircraft flying, and 6,600+ orders. Dual CFM-56B commercial engines each provide 27,000lbs of thrust, greatly enhancing climb and flight characteristics over turboprop equipped aircraft.

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.

The P-8A’s comprehensive mission system features an APY-10 radar with modes for high-resolution mapping, an acoustic sensor system, including passive and multi-static sonobuoys, electro-optical/IR turret and electronic support measures (ESM). This equipment delivers comprehensive search and tracking capability, while the aircraft’s weapons system includes torpedoes for engaging sub-surface targets.

The P-8A POSEIDON will become the RAF’s new maritime patrol aircraft (MPA). Aircraft already in service are equipped with sensors and weapons for anti-submarine warfare, surveillance and search and rescue. It will fill the role vacated by the BAE Systems NIMROD, which was withdrawn from service in 2010. 

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