Canada has officially chosen Boeing's P-8A Poseidon for its Multi-Mission Aircraft project in a deal valued at $5.9 billion.
The agreement covers the procurement of up to 16 P-8A aircraft. The first delivery is anticipated in 2026, marking a strategic move to replace Canada's aging CP-140 Aurora fleet, set to retire by 2030.
The P-8 is acknowledged for its capabilities in anti-submarine warfare, anti-surface warfare, intelligence, surveillance, reconnaissance, and humanitarian assistance. This decision positions Canada as the fifth NATO nation to select the P-8 as its multi-mission aircraft, reinforcing its commitment to NORAD and FIVE EYES allied interchangeability.
Canadian cabinet ministers, led by Defence Minister Bill Blair, officially announced the procurement of 16 P-8A Poseidon aircraft on Thursday. The decision, anticipated by defense observers following Canada's earlier request for P-8 pricing from the U.S., is aimed at replacing the Royal Canadian Air Force's CP-140 fleet. Blair outlined that all aircraft are expected to be delivered by fall 2027, with full operational capability achieved by 2033.
Acknowledging the additional spending required, Blair highlighted investments in new infrastructure, weapons, and simulators tailored for the P-8. The CP-140, currently utilized by the Royal Canadian Air Force, plays a crucial role in various operations worldwide, including submarine hunting and addressing security threats like illegal fishing, drug trafficking, and pollution along Canadian coastlines.
Interestingly, Blair mentioned that Canada's recently acquired CC-330 Husky refueling aircraft fleet will have the capability to refuel the incoming P-8A fleet. The decision to request pricing for the P-8s was made in March 2023, with Public Services and Procurement Canada confirming the P-8 as the sole aircraft meeting Canada's requirements. In June, the U.S. State Department approved the sale of 16 P-8A aircraft and related equipment to Canada, estimated at $5.9 billion.