UK Government to Fill MPA Gap and Order 9 Boeing P-8A Poseidon Maritime Patrol Aircraft

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Naval Forces News - P-8A Poseidon MPA for UK
 
 
 
UK Government to Fill MPA Gap and Order 9 Boeing P-8A Poseidon Maritime Patrol Aircraft
 
UK Prime Minister David Cameron will announce today a £178 billion investment in defence equipment and support over the next decade as part of a new Strategic Defence and Security Review (SDSR). The £12 billion uplift in funding will be focused on investments that will help to ensure the UK can respond to diverse threats and includes nine new P-8A Maritime Patrol Aircraft (MPA). UK currently has an MPA capability gap since the last Nimrod MR2 MPA was retired in 2010.
     
UK Prime Minister David Cameron will announce today a £178 billion investment in defence equipment and support over the next decade as part of a new Strategic Defence and Security Review (SDSR). The £12 billion uplift in funding will be focused on investments that will help to ensure the UK can respond to diverse threats and includes nine new P-8A Maritime Patrol Aircraft (MPA). UK currently has an MPA capability gap since the last Nimrod MR2 MPA was retired in 2010. A P-8A Poseidon conducts a weapons test with the Harpoon. After an extensive testing period, the P-8A program passes Initial Operational Test and Evaluation and is found “operationally effective, operationally suitable, and ready for fleet introduction.” (U.S. Navy photo)
     
According to an UK government official release:
The Prime Minister will announce a £178 billion investment in defence equipment and support over the next decade when he unveils the Government’s five year National Security Strategy and Strategic Defence and Security review in the House of Commons later today.

The £12 billion uplift in funding will be focused on investments that will help to ensure the UK can respond to diverse threats in an increasingly dangerous and uncertain world. This will include:
9 new Boeing P8 maritime patrol aircraft for maritime surveillance, anti-submarine and anti-surface ship warfare, increasing further the protection of our nuclear deterrent and our new aircraft carriers. These roles require an aircraft that can carry torpedoes, as well as being fitted with a broad range of sensors, including radar and sonobuoys, which are operated from the rear of the cabin by a team of specialists. These aircraft will also provide maritime search and rescue and surveillance capabilities over land.


UK currently has an MPA capability gap since the last Nimrod MR2 MPA was retired in 2010. According to British daily The Telegraph, UK requested assistance from a French Navy ATL2 MPA to search for a Russian submarine off Scotland for the past 10 days.

It is not clear yet if UK will pay for Stingray torpedo integration or will procure the US made Mk 54 torpedo instead. UK doesn't have air-launched AGM-84 Harpoon anymore either. As was the case with the Nimrod, UK's Poseidon will likely be flown by the Royal Air Force.
     
Our recent video interview on the P-8A Poseidon at Dubai Airshow 2015
     
The P-8A Poseidon is a modified Boeing 737-800ERX, bringing together a highly reliable airframe and high-bypass turbo fan jet engine with a fully connected, state-of-the-art open architecture mission system. This combination, coupled with next-generation sensors, dramatically improves anti-submarine warfare (ASW), and anti-surface warfare (ASuW) capabilities.

The U.S. Navy plans to purchase the versatile multi-mission aircraft to replace its P-3 Orion fleet. Boeing is currently under contract for 53 P-8As. The Royal Australian Air Force is in the process of procuring 8 Poseidon while the Indian has 8 on order (in a special variant dubbed P-8I).

Link to P-8A Poseidon MPA technical datasheet
 

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