End of the year 2023 with two important contracts for Boeing

At the end of November 2023, the Boeing company announced that it has been recently awarded with two new contracts for military aircraft. The first agreement, under the name Lot 10, covers delivery of fifteen KC-46A Pegasus tankers for the USAF. And the second deal, disclosed on the last day of the month, is related to Canada as the country finally selected the P-8A Poseidon as the new Canadian Multi-Mission Aircraft (CMMA), with up to sixteen aeroplanes to be soon acquired by the Royal Canadian Air Force (RCAF). 

The KC-46A Pegasus is a multi-mission aerial refuelling aircraft that, besides its main tanker role, can be used also for cargo and passenger transportation, aeromedical evacuation support, as well as to provide data connectivity at the tactical edge. The key features of the aeroplane include ability to transmit and exchange data, global reach, rapid air mobility characteristics and operation within Agile Combat Employment. 

´We appreciate our partnership with the U.S. Air Force, which allows for the expansion of the capacity and capability of the KC-46A fleet,´ said Lynn Fox, vice president and KC-46 programme manager. ´We understand the advantages that KC-46 capabilities give the war fighters, and in the current global environment, we continue to focus our investments on evolving the aircraft for the changing needs of the mission´. 

Until today, there are one hundred fifty-three KC-46A aeroplanes on contract globally. To date, the Boeing company delivered seventy-six aircraft of that type to the USAF and two for the Japan Air Self-Defence Force. The Block 1 KC-46A of the USAF are currently subjected to modernization programme that will add the Pegasus fleet more advanced communications capabilities to enhance data connectivity and situational awareness. 

In addition, at the end of November, the Government of Canada had signed a Foreign Military Sales Letter of Offer and Acceptance for up to sixteen Boeing P-8A Poseidon aircraft, as part of the CMMA project. 

Following selection of the P-8A, Canada confirmed its interchangeability within the intelligence alliance named FIVE EYES that also includes the United States, United Kingdom, Australia and New Zealand. The country will also use the P-8A fleet for its NORAD-related activities.  

Boeing P-8A Poseidon (photo © Boeing)

Canada is the fifth NATO country to select the P-8A Poseidon as its Multi-Mission Aircraft. According to the Boeing company, there are more than 160 aircraft of that type delivered or in active service worldwide. The global fleet of the P-8A has already clocked 560,000 collective flight hours.  

´The P-8 will bolster Canada’s defence capability and readiness, and we look forward to delivering this capability to the Royal Canadian Air Force,´ said Heidi Grant, president, Business Development for Boeing Defense, Space & Security. ´Together with our Canadian partners, we will deliver a strong industrial and technological benefit package that guarantees continued prosperity to Canada’s aerospace and defence industry´. 

The Canadian P-8s will be manufactured in cooperation with domestic aviation industry. Team Poseidon forms the cornerstone of Boeing’s P-8 Canadian industry partnership, consisting of CAE, GE Aviation Canada, IMP Aerospace & Defence, KF Aerospace, Honeywell Aerospace Canada, Raytheon Canada, and StandardAero. The team builds on the existing 81 Canadian suppliers to the P-8 platform and to more than 550 Boeing suppliers across all Canadian provinces contributing to the company’s annual approximate of 4 billion CAD in economic benefit to Canada, supporting more than 14,000 positions on the country´s job market. 

In addition, acquisition of the Poseidon aircraft by the RCAF will generate benefits of nearly 3,000 jobs and 358 million CAD in annual economic output to Canada, according to a 2023 independent study by Ottawa-based Doyletech Corporation. 

´This is a very important day for the Royal Canadian Air Force and for Boeing´, said Charles ´Duff´ Sullivan, managing director, Boeing Canada. ´The P-8 offers unmatched capabilities and is the most affordable solution for acquisition and life-cycle sustainment costs. There’s no doubt the P-8 will protect Canada’s oceans and its borders for future generations´. 

First P-8A Poseidon for New Zealand (photo © Boeing)

Cover photo: Boeing KC-46A Pegasus. All photos and quotations © Boeing. Information from The Boeing Company press releases were used.