The Courier

Facts about the P-8A Poseidon – Photo from the RCAF

Yesterday, the Honourable Bill Blair, Minister of National Defence, the Honourable Jean-Yves Duclos, Minister of Public Services and Procurement, and the Honourable François-Philippe Champagne, Minister of Innovation, Science and Industry announced that Canada has finalized a government-to-government agreement with the United States (US) government for the acquisition of up to 16 P-8A Poseidon aircraft for the Royal Canadian Air Force (RCAF). Fourteen multi-mission aircraft will be procured, with options for up to an additional two.

The P-8A will replace Canada’s current maritime patrol aircraft, the CP-140 Aurora, which has been in service for more than 40 years. As it ages, the CP-140 aircraft is becoming increasingly difficult to support, expensive to sustain, and less operationally relevant in comparison to the threats against which it must defend. This procurement will allow Canada to seamlessly transition to a replacement capability, thereby ensuring that Canada can continue to meet its domestic needs and international obligations.

After significant engagement and thorough analysis, we are confident that the P-8A delivers the best anti-submarine and intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance (ISR) capabilities for our country. The aircraft will operate seamlessly with allies. This platform is a proven capability that is operated by all our Five Eyes allies—the United States, the United Kingdom, Australia, and New Zealand—as well as other defence partners.

The estimated investment for this project is $10.4 billion CAD; it includes up to $5.9 billion USD for the P-8A, associated equipment, training devices and sustainment set-up. The balance will cover additional investments in simulators, infrastructure and weapons.

To defend Canadian interests in our maritime approaches, the Arctic, and internationally, the RCAF needs to be able to identify, detect, track and potentially engage advanced surface and sub-surface threats using an array of highly sophisticated sensors and weapons. The RCAF must have self-protection systems that afford our aviators a measure of survivability against known threats. The P-8A meets these requirements. It will protect Canadians, enhance our Arctic security and national sovereignty, and enable Canada to meet its NATO, NORAD and other obligations well into the future.

The P-8A will provide Canada an advanced multi-mission platform to conduct maritime and overland surveillance in defence of Canada and to support our allies, with integrated C4ISR, anti-submarine and anti-surface capabilities. These aircraft are not just airplanes, but complex weapon systems capable of transporting and launching multiple sonobuoys, torpedoes, and anti-ship weapons to protect Canada’s water on all three coasts.

The first P-8A should be delivered in 2026, and with an average of one aircraft delivered per month, all of the aircraft could be delivered as early as fall 2027. We anticipate full operational capability by 2033.

As part of this project, Boeing will provide meaningful business activities and make targeted investments in Canadian industry to support the growth of our aerospace and defence sector. To that end, Boeing has plans to integrate Canadian companies in global supply chains, develop clean technologies and support the development of skills and training in Canada.

Boeing’s economic commitments to Canada have the potential to generate more than 3000 jobs annually for Canadian industry and value chain partners, contribute at least $358 million annually to Canada’s gross domestic product over a ten-year period, and will bring benefits to hundreds of Canadian companies.

This important agreement will deliver the most modern and advanced equipment and ensure the protection of our country for years to come. The Government of Canada will continue to make significant investments to give the members of our Canadian Armed Forces the equipment they need to do their jobs.

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