Canada has agreed to order up to 16 Boeing P-8As as part of a new CAD10.4 billion ($7.7 billion) program to replace the country’s fleet of elderly Lockheed CP-140 Aurora maritime patrol aircraft. A proposed contract will include up to $5.9 billion for a sole-sourced contract for the aircraft and related equipment. The remaining funds will be used for simulators, new infrastructure, and weapons.
Local business jet manufacturer Bombardier, which had hoped to compete for the contract with a heavily modified version of its Global 6500 jet, said it was “disappointed” with the decision. News of the deal was no surprise. The Canadian government had reached out to Washington last March about buying the P-8As, arguing that Boeing’s aircraft was the only one to meet all its requirements.
Canada plans to 14 P-8As in an initial order and secure an option to buy two more aircraft at a later date. Deliveries of the aircraft will begin in 2026, according to Boeing. Full operational capability is scheduled to be reached by 2033.
The sole-source decision will allow Canada to replace its Aurora fleet years earlier than if Bombardier had to develop and certificate its proposed Global 6500-based jet. Boeing currently has a backlog for 20 P-8As and a dwindling pool of potential customers. Canada needs to make sure it orders the aircraft before Boeing begins shutting down production of the Poseidon in the medium term.