Boeing [BA] said on Thursday it intends to offer the P-8A Poseidon for Canada’s plan to replace its long-range maritime patrol aircraft.
The company said Canada recently issued a Request For Information (RFI) for the Canadian Multi-Mission Aircraft (CMMA) project that intends to replace the current Royal Canadian Air Force fleet of CP-140 Aurora aircraft while improving its anti-submarine warfare (ASW) as well as intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance (ISR) capability.
The Canadian Ministry of National Defense is currently modernizing the CP-140 fleet and extending its life to around 2030, so the CMMA project intends to look at what comes after that.
According to the Canadian government’s CMMA website, for the next aircraft the military “needs a manned, long-range platform, capable of providing C4 ISR and ASW with the ability to engage/control and to fully integrate with other ISR and ASW assets.”
It noted Canada’s large territory size requires an aircraft “with long range and loiter times to ensure the platform can transit to operating areas and remain on station for sufficient time.”
The government said the funding range is “greater than $5 billion,” which equates to $3.9 billion U.S. The Canadian government’s anticipated timeline is to start options analysis in fiscal year 2021-2022, start definition in 2023-2024, start implementation from 2027-2028, initial delivery in FY 2032-2033, and final delivery by 2037-2038.
The P-8 flies with militaries in the U.S., United Kingdom, Australia, Germany, India, New Zealand, Norway, and South Korea. The company boasted it has more than 140 aircraft in service that have executed over 400,000 mishap-free flight hours.
“The P-8A Poseidon has demonstrated that it is the world’s most capable multi-mission aircraft currently in production and offers a complete solution for Canada’s CMMA requirements,” Tim Flood, Boeing’s International Business Development director for Europe and Americas, said in a statement.
“The range, speed, and endurance of the P-8 makes it the perfect platform to monitor Canada’s northern and maritime approaches and the P-8 will ensure allied interoperability to meet Canada’s security commitments. Coupled with a robust industrial partnership plan, Boeing’s offer will build on its successful record of contributing to Canada’s economic growth throughout the life of the CMMA program,” he added.
This entrance to the Canadian competition comes as the U.S. Navy winds down its own purchases of the Poseidon as it approaches its planned final fleet levels.
When the Navy’s FY ‘22 budget request was unveiled, Deputy Assistant Secretary of the Navy for Budget, Rear Adm. John Gumbleton, said it reflected the end-of-purchase times for the P-8A, among other aircraft. The FY ‘21 budget request included the last batch of U.S. aircraft as nine P-8As. The service plans to complete transitioning from the legacy P-3 Orion to the P-8A this year (Defense Daily, June 1, 2021).
Boeing has been working through Foreign Military Sales awards for the Poseidon as the U.S. orders start to dry up.
Last year the Navy awarded Boeing a $1.6 billion modification for 11 P-8As Lot 12 aircraft split into nine of the U.S. Navy and two for Australia (Defense Daily, April 1, 2021).