By Colton Jones
The Government of Canada has announced that it has submitted a Letter of Request through the U.S. government’s Foreign Military Sales program, regarding the acquisition of up to 16 Boeing P-8A Poseidon aircraft.
According to an announcement, Canada seeks to replace the CP-140 Aurora fleet with a Canadian Multi-Mission Aircraft (CMMA) for the Royal Canadian Air Force (RCAF).
The CP-140 Aurora fleet was originally procured in 1980, and the aircraft is currently scheduled to retire from service in 2030. Procuring a new fleet is required to ensure Canada’s military has the equipment it needs to continue protecting Canadian sovereignty along its coastline.
A Request for Information (RFI) was released in February 2022 to obtain information from industry. Following engagements with industry and Canada’s closest allies, the government has determined that the P-8A Poseidon is the only currently available aircraft that meets all of the CMMA operational requirements, namely anti-submarine warfare and C4ISR. This platform is a proven capability that is operated by several of Canada’s defense partners including all of its Five Eyes allies—the United States, United Kingdom, Australia, New Zealand—as well as Norway, and South Korea. Germany has also recently purchased this platform.
With a view to exploring this option in more detail, Canada has recently submitted a Letter of Request (LOR) through the United States government’s Foreign Military Sales (FMS) program outlining Canada’s requirements and requesting an offer. These requirements include up to 16 P-8A Poseidon aircraft and associated equipment and initial servicing, as well as access to intellectual property and technical data.
The issuance of a LOR does not commit Canada to purchasing the P-8A Poseidon and the project remains in Options Analysis. The final decision will be based on the capability offered, availability, pricing and benefits to Canadian industry.