Boeing is in discussions with Asia-Pacific customers about potential additional sales of its P-8 Poseidon maritime patrol aircraft (MPA), the company said on 6 February at the Singapore Airshow 2018.
In a briefing to reporters, Matt Carreon, global sales and marketing lead for the P-8, said Boeing sees the Asia-Pacific as a key region for future exports of the aircraft.
Key factors driving the export push include regional country’s strategic requirements to boost maritime patrol capability and a growing need in some air forces to replace operational but ageing Lockheed Martin P-3 Orion MPAs.
“I can’t disclose specifics but I can say there is a need out here in the Asian region for the P-8, not only as a replacement for P-3s but as an additional capability in maritime patrol [in response] to the threat environment,” said Carreon.
“Customers that have a maritime patrol requirement that have P-3s, we have had discussions with them or we are in discussions with them.”
Countries that either operate P-3s or have expressed a requirement for additional MPA capability include New Zealand, South Korea, and Malaysia.
New Zealand is expected to soon move forward with its requirement following an announcement by the US Defense Security Cooperation Agency in April 2017 that the State Department had approved a possible Foreign Military Sale to the country for up to four P-8A aircraft for USD1.46 billion.
“We hope to get further announcements about that rather soon,” said Carreon. However, he also indicated that the change of government in New Zealand in October 2017 had caused a delay. “The recent government change did cause some discussions regarding the P-8 but it does look now that they are continuing on track and we look forward to continuing discussions with that customer,” he said.
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