AN INITIAL contract has been awarded to Boeing for the Royal Norwegian Air Force’s (RNoAF’s) five P-8A Poseidons. The award on March 5 by US Naval Air Systems Command is valued at $282,275,771 and covers procurement of long lead parts associated with the manufacture of 19 Lot 10 P-8As, comprising ten for the US Navy, four for the Royal Air Force and five for Norway. Finance comes from fiscal year 2018 US Navy aircraft procurement and Foreign Military Sales funding, with work expected to be completed in March 2022.
Norway had announced its intention to buy five P-8As to replace six RNoAF P-3C/Ns and two Falcon 20ECMs on November 26, 2016. Norwegian Minister of Defence Ine Eriksen Søreide announced a contract with the US Government for the aircraft on March 29, 2017, with deliveries scheduled in 2022 and 2023. The aircraft will be based at Evenes, which has not had a permanent operational aircraft presence since the end of the Cold War.
Details of the planned equipment fit for the RNoAF P-8As had been revealed by the US Defense Security Cooperation Agency (DSCA) on December 21, 2016, when it confirmed that the US State Department had approved the sale. The DSCA said the equipment included in the P-8A sale to Norway would comprise: Tactical Open Mission Software (TOMS), MX-20HD electro-optical (EO) and infrared (IO), AN/AAQ-2(V)1 acoustic system, AN/APY-10 radar and ALQ-240 electronic support measures. Also included will be eleven Multifunctional Distribution System Joint Tactical Radio Systems (MIDS JTRS); eight Guardian Laser Transmitter Assemblies (GLTA) for the AN/AAQ-24(V)N; eight system processors for AN/AAQ-24(V)N; 42 AN/AAR- 54 missile warning sensors for the AN/AAQ-24(V)N; 14 LN-251 with embedded global positioning systems (GPS)/inertial navigation systems (EGIs); and 2,000 AN/SSQ-125 Multi-Static Active Coherent (MAC) Source Sonobouys.
For the UK, a government-to-government contract for nine P-8As for the RAF was announced on July 11, 2016. A long-lead contract for the first two was awarded to Boeing on August 18, 2016, followed by a full production contract for them on March 30, 2017, pas part of Production Lot 8. A contract for the next three as part of Production Lot 9 was awarded on December 21, 2017. Last week’s award for long-lead items as part of Lot 10 covers the final four RAF aircraft.
Including the new Lot 10 long-lead order, the US Navy has now contracted for 97 production P-8As, while in addition, six system development and demonstration aircraft were also purchased. Planned total US Navy procurement is 117 production aircraft.