Norway and the UK have completed their orders for the Boeing P-8A Poseidon maritime multimission aircraft (MMA), the US Department of Defense (DoD) has disclosed.
A contract for all five aircraft for the Royal Norwegian Air Force (RoNAF) and the final four of nine aircraft for the UK Royal Air Force (RAF) was awarded to Boeing on 25 January. The USD2.46 billion Lot 10 production award also includes 10 additional Poseidons for the US Navy (USN) as the service continues towards its 120-aircraft programme of record.
As noted in the contract notification, the Norwegian portion of the award is valued at USD695 million while the UK’s is valued at USD507 million (including national-specific ‘SilverBlock’ modifications, the nature of which have not been disclosed).
Norway is procuring the P-8A to replace the six ageing Lockheed Martin P-3C Orion maritime patrol aircraft (MPA) and three Dassault Falcon DA-20 Jet Falcon surveillance aircraft that are currently flown by the RoNAF. The overall programme is valued at NOK10 billion (USD1.17 billion), some of which will come from the country’s intelligence services budget. All five P-8As are set to be delivered between 2022 and 2023.
The UK government announced its plans to buy nine P-8As in the Strategic Defence and Security Review (SDSR) in late 2015, and signed the formal order at the Farnborough International Airshow in July 2016. According to previous announcements the total cost of the procurement is valued at GBP3 billion (USD4 billion) over the next 10 years. Further to the aircraft, the UK government has disclosed that the procurement includes off-the-shelf purchases of unspecified weapons, sonar buoys, and other ‘consumables’.
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