Canada finalises deal to buy up to 16 P-8A Poseidons

Canada has confirmed that it will buy up to 16 P-8A Poseidon multi-mission maritime patrol and reconnaissance aircraft for the Royal Canadian Air Force (RCAF).

On November 30, Canada’s Minister of National Defence Bill Blair revealed that a government-to-government agreement had been finalised with the US for the acquisition of 14 P-8A Poseidons for the RCAF, along with an option for the procurement of up to two additional aircraft. The P-8A will replace the RCAF’s ageing fleet of CP-140M Aurora maritime patrol aircraft, which have been in operational service for more than 40 years.

This digital concept image provides an early glimpse of what the RCAF’s future P-8A Poseidon fleet will look like when operational. Canada will acquire up to 16 P-8As in total to replace its ageing CP-140M Aurora fleet.
This digital concept image provides an early glimpse of what the RCAF’s future P-8A Poseidon fleet will look like when operational. Canada will acquire up to 16 P-8As in total to replace its ageing CP-140M Aurora fleet. Boeing

In announcing its decision to acquire the P-8A, the Canadian Department of National Defence (DND) said that the Poseidon delivers the best anti-submarine warfare (ASW) and intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance (ISR) capabilities. This platform is a proven capability that is operated by all of Canada’s Five Eyes allies – Australia, New Zealand, the UK and the US – as well as other defence partners.

Selected through the DND’s Canadian Multi-Mission Aircraft (CMMA) project, which has a budget of CA$10.4bn. This includes US$5.9bn for the procurement of the P-8A, as well as associated equipment, training devices and sustainment services. The remainder of this budget will cover additional investments in simulators, infrastructure and weapons. Canada’s first P-8A is scheduled to be delivered in 2026, and with an average of one aircraft being delivered per month, the full RCAF Poseidon fleet could be delivered to Canada by Autumn 2027. The fleet is expected to achieve Full Operational Capability (FOC) in 2033.

Commenting on the acquisition, Blair said: “In today’s complex global environment, Canada requires a military that is capable of protecting our country well into the future. We are committed to ensuring that our current and future aviators have the most advanced equipment possible to do just that. Canada requires a multi-mission fleet to contribute to the safety and security of Canadians and protect the sovereignty of a country with the longest coastline in the world. The Boeing P-8A Poseidon is the right aircraft to fulfil this role.”