RAF P-8A Patrol Aircraft – Foreign Military Sale Notification

Following the SDSR 2015 decision to purchase the Boeing P-8A Patrol Aircraft (Maritime Patrol or Multi Mission Aircraft) the Foreign Military Sale (FMS) notification has been published.

WASHINGTON, Mar. 25, 2016 – The State Department has made a determination approving a possible Foreign Military Sale to the United Kingdom for P-8A Aircraft and associated equipment, training, and support. The estimated cost is $3.2 billion. The Defense Security Cooperation Agency delivered the required certification notifying Congress of this possible sale on March 24, 2016. The Government of the United Kingdom (UK) has requested notification for the possible procurement of up to nine (9) P-8A Patrol Aircraft, associated major defense equipment, associated training, and support. The estimated cost is $3.2 billion

$3.2 billion is about £2.26 billion

Sorry, can’t avoid the temptation to divide that by nine (yes I know the support and training etc.) which comes in at about £250 million each. Now I know this is simplistic, I know there are all sorts of reasons why you can’t divide the programme cost by the quantity and come to a unit cost, but it is still a high level simple way of viewing it.

Torpedoes of sonobuoys I would expect will also be on the optional extras list!

All good stuff, a gaping capability gap will be filled and a road opened to a future where we might achieve some commonality with future replacements for Sentry, Airseeker and perhaps Sentinel.

However, let us not forget the £3.8 Billion sunk on Nimrod MRA4, adding that (somewhat uncharitably, granted) brings the total bill to just over £6 Billion, for the capability as represented by the nine new aircraft.

Just let that sink in for a moment.

Over £650 million each when you look at it like that.

I can hear the howls, and of course, they are not £650 million each, but we had Nimrod MR2, then we didn’t, we will have nine P-8A’s, and the total amount of taxpayers cash being spent is the total amount of taxpayers cash being spent.

People might not like it, they will complain how ridiculous that is and they will point out the difference between the two, but to coin a phrase, it is what it is.

Plus, there will be additional support and infrastructure costs on top of the weapon and consumables purchases, best get ready to dig deep going forward.

No doubt the MoD will follow up on this release shortly and the National Audit Office will provide the full picture in due course.

Not the MoD’s finest hour, Nimrod MRA4 cancellation and no competition to replace it, but still, putting the eye watering cost to one side, this is a very good news story for UK defence so perhaps we should just keep our mouths shut and let the RAF get on with it!

Read more…

http://www.dsca.mil/sites/default/files/mas/uk_16-26.pdf

P-8A Poseidon

H/T Mark

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Nicky
March 25, 2016 8:35 pm

I would expect the RAF to start sending people to the US to train on the P-8A. It’s a perfect choice for the RAF.

TAS
TAS
March 25, 2016 9:36 pm

£650M each? That’s not like you TD – working for the Daily Mail these days? MRA4 was a f***up of epic proportions yes, but uncharitably tying that to the P8 buy is unrepresentative and unrealistic. You counting the millions spent on FRES in the individual vehicle price tag too?

Senior Moment
Senior Moment
March 25, 2016 9:51 pm

Sorry I won’t blame the MoD -I’ll blame that ar*se licker Hammond , Osbourne and Cameron for this debacle.
The same Cameron who foisted the F35B on the navy instead of Cat and Trap.

Peter Elliott
March 25, 2016 10:25 pm

The danger of that approach TD is that it tars the current lot with the sins of their (governmental) fathers and grandfathers.

Not that the current lot aren’t sinful: all politicians are. But pissing vast amounts up the wall on cancelled programmes isn’t their particular tragic flaw.

JohnHartley
JohnHartley
March 25, 2016 10:34 pm

Do we know if RAF P-8 will get SLAM-ER? Would turn them into long range strike aircraft, if there is no serious air defence.

Pompeyblokeinoxford
Pompeyblokeinoxford
March 25, 2016 11:00 pm

Let’s forget the nimrod, or at least the airframe. The writing was on the wall when the MR2 was withdrawn from service March 2010. One of the issues with the airframe was was it safe. The loss of XV235 has had a major impact on military air safety.
If we factor in the cost of replacing various marks/types of Nimrods with the E3A, RC135 and now the P8A, £650m would wide off the mark.
Regarding British personnel gaining experience, this in part the purpose of Seedcorn.
Finally, the decision not to equip our carriers with cat and trap was made well before the Tories came into power. I have often thought, why spend so much money on an aircraft carrier that can only operate a limited range of aircraft. They would be massive white elephants if the lightening F35B was cancelled.

The Other Chris
March 25, 2016 11:49 pm

As posted in t’other thread: The price is cheaper than the estimate (allowing for inflation) to complete the 9 MRA.4 in any case.

We know the aircraft themselves are rolling £78m each for the USN and RAAF on the last contract award to Boeing. The remainder is all the other gubbins and considerations mentioned by Mark in said t’other thread.

El Sid
El Sid
March 26, 2016 1:39 am


The RAF is 6 years ahead of you, they’ve had crews seconded to US P-8’s pretty much since Nimrod was cancelled. And they’re not too bad at operating them, either :
http://www.navy.mil/submit/display.asp?story_id=80308

HMArmedForcesReview
HMArmedForcesReview
March 26, 2016 3:22 am

Well it just a FMS. Have to wait till Main Gate

HMArmedForcesReview
HMArmedForcesReview
March 26, 2016 8:07 am

@ohnHartley SPEAR 3.

The Other Chris
March 26, 2016 11:01 am

SLAM-ER is a future FMS possibility given existing foreign operators, though it’s not completed integration on the platform for the USN itself yet.

Harpoon has been integrated and there are calls from the USN community for a Maverick equivalent weapon also. That might mean fit Maverick itself or an alternative. Hellfire, Brimstone, SDB-II and SPEAR 3 are not outrageous suggestions in that category. Keep an eye on LRASM developments too.

What will be interesting is whether an AAM requirement still exists and whether it will ultimately be integrated for the RAF.

shark bait
March 26, 2016 11:33 am

@TOC, I haven’t though of that before, its quite remarkable. Perhaps further corroborating that shredding Nimrod was the correct choice.

Whilst not easy to swallow, it can’t be forgotten, £6 Billion is the price we have paid to regenerate our MPA capability.

Excellent news we are moving forward now!

shark bait
March 26, 2016 11:37 am

RE the F35b choice; Cats and Traps are equally limited in the aircraft they can operate. There is only one 5th gen catapult-capable aircraft, which happens to be the same aircraft, but won’t be ready in time.

The Other Nick
The Other Nick
March 26, 2016 11:43 am

Why is the UK spending £2.3 billion plus from the MoD budget for an unproven product that has so far failed to fulfill its primary ASW mission role (per the US DOT&E FY 2015 report in actual real world testing of the Multi-Static Active Coherent System, MAC, used by the P-8A). Expect substantial spend will be incurred in further R&D for the MAC, whether successful or not time will tell, so UK will be spending billions on faith.
My personal opinion it’s a colossal waste of UK resources though expect my view to be in a minority of one.
PS
US DSCA “There are no known offset agreements proposed in connection with this potential sale.”

The Other Chris
March 26, 2016 12:02 pm

@TON

Refer to the previous thread where you made this very comment and received multiple rebuttals in reply:

https://www.thinkdefence.co.uk/2016/03/cheeky-thought-maritime-patrol/#comment-376644

Hannay
Hannay
March 26, 2016 12:29 pm

@TOC

The costs quoted for MRA4 included purchase OT&E and then O&S for the next ten years. This cost for P-8A doesn’t include full O&S costs (which are very significant) and so the comparison is meaningless.

@TD

I really hope we don’t go with 737 derivatives for Airseeker, Sentry or Sentinel. It’ll be a big step down in capability in the first two roles, and massive overkill (about double the cost necessary) for the third. Largely illusilionary cost savings from ‘commonality’ need to be offset against the capabilities of role-specific platforms.

HMArmedForcesReview
HMArmedForcesReview
March 26, 2016 12:45 pm

the DSCA release didn’t state anything about weapons or radar….

Steve
Steve
March 26, 2016 1:15 pm

One question we will never know the answer to, is how much extra would it have cost to get the Nimrods completed and into service.

The real sunk cost is difference between this cost and the cost of buying the P8-As.

Ok we could have gone with the P8’s in the first place, but realistically we would never have done that, so its a mute point.

Fedaykin
March 26, 2016 2:02 pm

Due to the UK’s experience of jet MPA operations and the similarity between the consoles and mission systems on the MRA4 and P8 (the P8 system was derived from the MRA4’s system) a significant proportion of the RAF seed-corn personnel were assigned to VX-1 the P8 test and evaluation squadron and VP-30 the P8 training squadron.

RAF personnel have been helping to develop tactics for the type and also providing training to USN crew.

Fedaykin
March 26, 2016 2:05 pm
Fedaykin
March 26, 2016 2:10 pm

https://www.thinkdefence.co.uk/2016/03/raf-p-8a-patrol-aircraft-foreign-military-sale-notification/

Further from earlier point the USAF and USN have found great benefit from the RAF personnel sent over for the P8 and RC135W due to the amount of experience they have.

For the USAF and USN crew on the P8 or RC135 stay on for 3 to 4 years before moving on taking their experience with them. Within the RAF Officers and NCO’s stay within their specialized areas of experience for decades.

The Other Nick
The Other Nick
March 26, 2016 3:31 pm

@TOC
Appreciate your knowledge and input but I beg to differ. I come back to the statement from the DOT&E re the LM MAC used on the P-8A “The data also show operators are only able to recognize a small fraction of valid system submarine detections as a possible target and spent time assessing and prosecuting false targets.”

The P-8A brings great advantages in systems/communications interoperability but to me the above DOT&E statement is a stopper and perhaps the reason the South Koreans updated their P-3’s and SAAB choose to go with the GD Canada MAC.

The P-8A is a Rolls Royce in price and as yet unable to deliver it’s OR, it might in the future but that is yet to be proven and may become a money pit to bring it up to FOC. For info. the MoD paying $3.2 billions equates to $355 millions per a/c, USN is paying $187 million each for seventeen P8-A’s as per FY2017 President’s Budget Submission, so the MoD paying an additional $168 millions per a/c for “associated equipment, training, and support”, a 90% uplift.

The UK will be carrying the risk of paying in $ as zero UK input, with the £ weakening over the last year from $1.49 to $1.41. If £ continues to weaken would see Treasury enforce RAF cuts to keep within overall budget eg reduced Typhoon squadrons to balance the books. (One of the alternatives was the Lockheed Sea Hercules with 80% UK spend). I’m sure to a certain extent the Treasury can buy $ forward for all the MoD requirements but to do so for the outyears becomes uneconomical and added cost to MoD budget.

Mark
Mark
March 26, 2016 6:51 pm

Toc Very hard to work what the cost is from US contracts as many long items and other government purchases items tend not to be included.

As an aside I do find it amusing that the p8 purchase price and the f35 for that matter tend to often be quoted as a cost to purchase per aircraft making them appear cheaper than alternatives rather than the cost to defence. Where as those programs that are often ridiculed by retired sea lords and the like, such as typhoon, voyager and a400m tend to have design develop manufacture and 25 years of support cost added to give a very high unit price followed by the line should of bought x for 2 pound 50.

It will be interesting to see what the cost to defence is of those 9 p8 aircraft when the nao produce there next report.

The Other Chris
March 26, 2016 9:57 pm

The contract mentioned is the payment to Boeing for 13 more aircraft. An order for 13 items. It’s not a program cost. It’s not a project cost. It’s not a development injection or long lead order. It’s the order to the contractor for the next manufacturing run.

The item appears as a line in the P-8A program. It also appears as a line in Boeings reported accounts, reported to the shareholders.

Not everything is wrapped up in nefarious conspiratory governmental accounting smoke and mirrors, Boeing’s already secure as the MMA supplier to the USN.

Mark
Mark
March 27, 2016 11:18 am

Toc

Yeah but there’s other suppliers than Boeing who get paid direct by the dod.

In the link the dod budget sent to congress give a 2015 flyaway cost at 171m dollars each. 2016 budget in link also.

http://www.bga-aeroweb.com/Defense/P-8-Poseidon.html

The price were paying is comparable with Australia’s purchase which is what I’ve been saying for some time.

stephen duckworth
March 27, 2016 2:08 pm

et al
A little more on our seedcorn crew with VP-30 flying in P8A’s. The USN ASW Fleet challenge each year brings together the best crews from each of the three USN ASW MPA bases . Each base runs its own competition amongst its squadrons and sends its best crew to Jacksonville. So from a total of 16 squadrons three crews are selected , in 2014 VP-30’s entry with a UK seedcorn crew won the competition overall competing both in simulators (are we buying our own as part of this package?) and in the air against a Los Angeles’s class SSN HK , USS Springfield SSN 761.
http://www.navy.mil/submit/display.asp?story_id=80308

Fedaykin
March 27, 2016 3:24 pm

@stephen duckworth

Knew about the exercise in 2914, to me it shows the benefit of Seedcorn in retaining that long term institutional experience.

Good question about the simulator, I would think that a simulator and part task trainers would be essential.

The Other Nick
The Other Nick
March 27, 2016 3:46 pm

@Mark
The DoD FY2017 President’s Budget Submission Feb. 2016 Navy Justification Book notes the P-8A costs as below

FY2015 9 a/c $252,747,889 ea.
FY2016 17 a/c $187,126,588 ea.
FY2017 11 a/c $198,476,818 ea.
FY2018 6 a/c $229,488,500 ea.
FY2019 13 a/c $223,497,846 ea.

So not sure of the validity of $171 million quoted

grubbie
grubbie
March 28, 2016 8:45 pm

Expensive and not that great. Thank God the yanks have given us permission to give them $billions for 9 of them.

johnno
johnno
March 29, 2016 1:28 am

Does anybody know if the UK will pay to integrate Stingray into the P-8 or whether it will stick with the US Mk 54 ASW torp?

The RAAF is going with the Mk 54 despite the MU-90 being the RAN’s weapon of choice.

Hic_et_Ubique
Hic_et_Ubique
March 29, 2016 7:38 am

@TON

“Why is the UK spending £2.3 billion plus from the MoD budget for an unproven product that has so far failed to fulfill its primary ASW mission role”

Because your statement is factually incorrect. Only 1 part of the system has “failed to fulfil” that DOES NOT mean that the rest of the ASW system is a failure. What bit of this do you not understand? If you think those that are working hards on procuring the aircraft, and all its support, simulators and stores, would commit the UK to buying an unproven system then you are living in cloud cuckoo land. If you don’t believe me then I suggest you buy some tickets to Farnborough Air Show and go and have a chat with some of the Brit aircrew flying the P-8 today.

The Other Chris
March 29, 2016 9:26 am

@johnno

Nothing released publicly.

Integrating Sting Ray for low level release is likely feasible, it just has a cost associated.

If the UK is to operate the P-8A with it’s HAASW features, it’s more likely that we’ll order the Mk 54 based HAAWC rather than develop our own or adapt the HAAWC kits at that point, though you never know.

APATS raised a good point in an older thread, initially focussed on whether we’d request a FMS off the shelf RUM-139C for the Type 26, that given the volumes of each we may just look to purchase the Mk 54 / HAAWC kits.

The RAAF are using the Mk 54 on their P-8A’s and intend to operate HAAWC when it enters service as well.

The Other Nick
The Other Nick
March 29, 2016 4:28 pm


I repeat that under testing last year the DOT&E stated the the LM MAC acoustic processor, which can take input from up to 64 sonobuoys to enable the P8-A to meet its KPP OR for wide area ASW search, but “MAC falls short of what the fleet identified as the capability needed to protect high-value units” // “The data also show operators are only able to recognize a small fraction of valid system submarine detections as a possible target and spent time assessing and prosecuting false targets.”

It is only with P8-A Increment 2 comes with the MAC acoustic processor and understand the first production Increment 2 a/c are due for delivery this year with the mods Engineering Change Proposal 1 (shallow water) and ECP 2 (deep water) to follow on later. Would be surprised if RAF crews have been flying the new P-8A Increment 2 a/c with the MAC.

Understand P-8A has many other capabilities but the main kit for the UK primary mission of broad area ASW search capability system is of yet unable to meet the requirement of protecting high value ships, MAC is still in the RDT&E phase and as yet unproven.

CheshireCat
CheshireCat
March 30, 2016 7:17 am

I might be be lagging behind (wouldn’t be the first time), but I’ve just read a short blog by Air Commodore Ian Gale, who is apparently the Senior Responsible Owner for ISTAR projects, in which he refers to amongst other things ‘ the RAF’s new Multi-Mission Aircraft, initially in the maritime patrol configuration.’
Now I know this has been discussed on TD, I’m mot sure I’ve ever seen it referred to officially like this before.
Clearly the optimist in me reads this and thinks more airframes with AAS pods in the future to replace Sentinel, whilst the realist reads a couple of AAS pods procured and shared around the nine airframes, a la Crowsnest!

All Politicians are the Same
All Politicians are the Same
March 30, 2016 9:32 am

@ TON

“It is only with P8-A Increment 2 comes with the MAC acoustic processor and understand the first production Increment 2 a/c are due for delivery this year with the mods Engineering Change Proposal 1 (shallow water) and ECP 2 (deep water) to follow on later. Would be surprised if RAF crews have been flying the new P-8A Increment 2 a/c with the MAC.”

BLUF: It can hunt and kill subs now and will be even better at it by the time we get our aircraft.

It is simply one element of the package that is still in development. an element which will be a major step forward from where anyobody else is in the MPA business. Until that functions it still has every other element and can still hunt and kill submarines (I know people who are flying them).
In short it is already an extremely capable sub hunter which will get even better when MAC fully operational which it will be by the time we receive our aicraft.

The Other Chris
March 30, 2016 10:43 am

Just referring to Seedcorn alone the RAF have had personnel embedded in VX-1 and VP-30 squadrons for some time. These are the test & evaluation and training squadrons for P-8A. The personnel are active and feed their experience into the program.

Seedcorn is a two-way street.

As a related aside, the RAF also have Seedcorn personnel embedded with VX-20, the unmanned patrol squadron, working with MQ-4C Triton.

On current and future sonobuoy kit and work, following summary may be of interest to readers which gives a sense of the number and variety of just the sensor, relay and processing systems being discussed:

http://www.navair.navy.mil/index.cfm?fuseaction=home.display&key=C8AEF3CE-30B0-4C3D-829C-50FEF3A301F3

stephen duckworth
March 30, 2016 1:05 pm

From where TON is quoting.
http://www.globalsecurity.org/military/library/budget/fy2015/dot-e/navy/2015mac_system.pdf
The good news is thats its as good as the same system used on P3C’s and its kinder to whales and dolphins than the old system ….ah bless!

The Other Nick
The Other Nick
March 30, 2016 1:26 pm

My understanding is the first P8-A Increment 2 production a/c with broad area ASW search capability is lot 5 with the 38th production a/c. First Incre. 2 a/c delivery approx. this June to USN. (Boeing PR stated 33 P-8A a/c del’d as 19/01/2016).

Increment 2 adding the MAC acoustic processor for the sonobuoys, the HAASWC (High Altitude Anti-Submarine Capability) enabling high altitude release of the Mk 54 torpedo and the AIS (Automated Identification System) for tracking surface vessels.

Later enhancements funded from Engineering Change Proposals budgets will give shallow water and later deep water capability to the MAC and upgrades to the HAASWC and later guidance to the MK54 torpedo with glide kit.

Full RDT&E is continuing and it is to be hoped that the software especially for the LM MAC acoustic processor is successful and not emulate the history of the LM software on the F-35.

Chris Mitchell
Chris Mitchell
March 30, 2016 5:07 pm

No Jobs for UK?

stephen duckworth
March 30, 2016 5:18 pm

Mitchell
Boeing as a global corporation has a UK footprint. It employs 2000 here and spent £1.8 billion last year with UK suppliers or how much we are going to spend on our new shiny toys. (not that shiny but new anyway :-)
http://www.boeing.co.uk/news-media-room/news-releases/2016/february/boeing-uk-partnership-delivers-growth-in-jobs-value.page

Mark
Mark
March 30, 2016 5:38 pm

I know it’s big news for the UK to acquire 9 p8 aircraft but let’s not get carried away about what this means to Boeing for jobs in the uk or anywhere else for that matter. Boeing are producing about 45, 737 a/c every month at present with that due to increasing to the mid 50’s a month over the next 18 months this order is chicken feed to them.

The Other Chris
March 30, 2016 6:17 pm

Interesting the deal is to be structured as a G2G FMS rather than a B2G FMS.

The Other Nick
The Other Nick
March 31, 2016 10:41 am

@Mark
“chicken feed” value of UK P8-A order to Boeing.
As I mentioned above UA bought forty 737-700’s in January, list price $80 million each, $3.2 billion total the same value as the UK P8-A order, reported by very reputable sources UA actually only paid $23 million each so net UA order value of $920 million. Boeing are having to offer the discounts so as to fill production line until the new 737 MAX comes on line late 2017. They are to date still losing money on every 787 produced to date, carrying approx. $28 billion production losses on books and not until 1200/1300 a/c comes off the line will they turn a profit.
So make no mistake the UK P8-A order will be very nice earner for Boeing, arbitrary guess in the region of a $500 million.

The Other Nick
The Other Nick
April 2, 2016 10:51 am

P-8A Increment 3

The March 2016 GAO Defense Acquisitions of Selected Weapons report states R&D budget of $1 billion beginning 3rd quarter FY2017

Increment 3 is the integration of new hardware and software to be split into two Blocks. #1 will be Boeing for to upgrade
communications, radar and weapons. #2, LM and Raytheon to compete for new open systems architecture and integrate improvements to the combat system’s ability to process and display classified information and its search, detection, and targeting capabilities.

Assuming the major proportion of the one billion dollars R&D will be incurred on the development and systems integration of the AAS (Advanced Airborne Sensor) based on the large and long range Raytheon APS-149 Littoral Surveillance Radar System (LSRS) a double-sided AESA radar which has flown on the P-8A since April 2014. Uses MTI that can detect, classify, and track targets on land and at sea , SAR and ISAR for picture-like radar imagery of both inland and ocean areas at the same time; these can profile vessels from a long distance, generate fine resolution in day or night and in adverse weather. A USN updated JSTARS.

Origins of the AAS radar with a claimed 5x – 10x resolution improvement date back to the all encompassing 767 E-10A for the replacement of the Boeing 707 E-3 Sentry, E-8 JSTARS and RC-135 Rivet Joint before cancellation in 2007.

As a replacement of the 1991 Northrop Grumman E-8 JSTARS Raytheon and Northrop Grumman were awarded USAF contracts in March for their competing long-range, wide-area surveillance radars systems (NG are teamed with Gulfstream for the a/c). USAF budget funding for new JSTARS has as yet not been confirmed.

http://foxtrotalpha.jalopnik.com/exclusive-p-8-poseidon-flies-with-shadowy-radar-system-1562912667

The Other Nick
The Other Nick
May 24, 2016 6:37 am

Sunday Telegraph reported that our American ‘friends’ markup on on the $3.2 billion P-8A on the G2G contract is 20%.
With a single source defence contract the MoD the allowed profit margin is 8.95pc enforced by the Single Source Regulations Office (SSRO) on UK companies and no doubt if it emerged that BAE was being paid 20% Fallon would have to resign.
The US has us over a barrel as the Air Marshals on the altar of interoperability insisted on the P-8A and Fallon the ‘businessman’ agreed, but as we all know the MoD is flush money.
Another minor point as outlined in my previous posts above the P-8A was unable to carry out its prime ASW mission in last years trials.

The Other Chris
May 24, 2016 8:08 am

Regardless of veracity, still cheaper than completing and operating the MRA4 for their shorter lifetimes on its own merit.

The Other Nick
The Other Nick
May 24, 2016 9:13 am

@TOC “veracity”

Read the GOV.UK MoD news team 22nd May reply to Sunday Telegraph article, the usual pap to cover MoD/RAF incompetance to write an OR at the appropiate time to run an open competition to obtain a competitive price.

“Procuring the Boeing P-8A Poseidon through a Foreign Military Sales arrangement allows us to get the capability we need and in the timeline we want. Buying the P-8 directly from the US government means that its purchase is excluded from the single source procurement framework, as outlined in the 2014 Defence Reform Act.”

https://modmedia.blog.gov.uk/2016/05/22/defence-in-the-media-22-may-2016/

The Other Chris
May 24, 2016 9:30 am

@TON

Re-emphasis of “Regardless of…”.

Regarding veracity itself, you make several intimations about “friends”, “pap”, “incompetence”, etc., that you have not qualified and remain as your opinion.

Once more:

Regardless of veracity, still cheaper than completing and operating the MRA4 for their shorter lifetimes on its own merit.

Which remains verifiable an un-opined.

The Other Nick
The Other Nick
May 24, 2016 10:54 am

@TOC “Regardless of veracity, still cheaper than completing and operating the MRA4 for their shorter lifetimes on its own merit.”
I do agree MR4A is history, my thoughts were for the primary ASW mission and if the RAF had written an appropriate OR perhaps either L3,Lockheed, SAAB and Kawasaki P-1 may have come with more affordable price.
The P-8A if, a big if at the moment delivers on its powerpoint projections in future years with its other capabilities will be a rolls royce product, but the P-8A is rolls royce money and the UK MoD does not have a US DoD budget. We have to get much smarter in obtaining appropriate capabilities for less money, I just look with envy at the Israelis and though they are a special situation their high tech hardware/high numbers capabilities for the money/aid is huge, enabled in part by a very hard nose attitude in driving prices down and then look at MoD and they are not in the same league.
Another current example is the Type 26 which if lucky we might have eight, P-8A nine, penny packet numbers.

All Politicians are the Same
All Politicians are the Same
May 24, 2016 11:32 am

@TON

The P1 possibly(though designed by the Japanese for the Japanese would cause issues and apparently had a lot to do with them not winning the Aussie SSK contract), the rest do not do what we require them to do.

Donald_of_Tokyo
Donald_of_Tokyo
May 24, 2016 2:20 pm

From my point of view, many, of not all, of the “wasted” money came from, lack of decision (just go for it! but not) or lack of technology (Nimrod MRA4). Wondering around for years for “better” solution is in many case will just turn out to be a waste of money. Not only money. Also time. Then the capability will be either gapped or you will be required for “upgrading” cost for old gears.

P-8A will be “one of the front-line top level” long rage patrol airplane for ASW and ASuW. No doubt. If not, USN would have beenl stop buying it already. P-1 in Japan will be OK, but it is a bit behind in its development compared to P-8A. Numbers to be built will also be at least 3 times small for P-1.

So P-8A is surely with low risk and is not a bad choice for sure, if not “the best”. Modern maritime patrol airplane is expensive. That’s all.

Then, just go for it. If you stop again, you may lose another “Giga Pounds”. For example, Seedcorn is not for free, for sure. If MRA is not coming soon, all the crew may even quit and RAF may lose skilled manpower. It was already gapped for long. You shall stop it gapped no more.

Congratulation purchase process is proceeding.

Oscar Zulu
Oscar Zulu
May 25, 2016 11:13 am

First RAAF P8 takes to the air for short flight from Boeing’s Renton plant to Boeing Field in Seattle for final mission systems fitout. First aircraft due in Oz in late 2016.

http://australianaviation.com.au/2016/05/first-flight-for-raafs-first-p-8-poseidon/