Word on the street is the Royal Navy could be adding nine brand-spanking-new P-8’s to its inventory in the very near future. This is most likely very exciting news for most, if not all, of the military supporters on the other side of the pond. More specifically, our UK counterparts have seen their military air assets dwindling at an alarming rate in the last few years. Some new hardware in the form of the Poseidon could be just what the doctor ordered by giving a much needed boost to morale and the Royal Navy’s sub hunting abilities.

The United Kingdom is poised to place an order for P-8 Poseidon maritime patrol aircraft made by Boeing Co., according to a news report.

The British government is expected this summer to sign a more than $3 billion contract for nine of the submarine hunters, according to an article published Tuesday on the British military television channel Forces TV.

Watch for the deal to possibly be inked at either the Royal International Air Tattoo or Farnborough International Air Show in July.

UK Adding Poseidon to its Arsenal
Patrol Squadron (VP) 16’s P-8A Poseidon No. 429 and No. 435 aircraft refuel at Naval Air Facility Atsugi. The squadron’s landing at NAF Atsugi is part of the Poseidon’s inaugural operational deployment. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Kegan E. Kay/Released)

The agreement has long been in the works. The U.S. Defense Department earlier this year notified Congress of the proposal — and company officials hinted at ongoing discussions in recent years.

Boeing, the world’s largest aerospace company, also has contracts to supply as many as two dozen of the planes to other international customers including Australia and India.

The company’s biggest customer for the aircraft remains the U.S. Navy, which plans to purchase a total of 114 of the twin-engine jets at an estimated cost of $32.4 billion to replace its aging fleet of P-3C Orions, a four-engine turboprop made by Lockheed Martin Corp. and introduced in the 1960s.

Military.com took a tour of the P-8A last year at the Paris Air Show during which a naval flight officer said what sets the plane apart are its sensors, radios and sonobuoy launcher, as well as work stations that allow crew members onboard to hunt targets ranging from submarines and surface warfare ships.

The original article can be read in its entirety at DOD Buzz right here.
(Feature photo courtesy of U.S. Navy and taken by Liz Goettee)