Thursday, January 28, 2016

P-8 Contract

Boeing has received a $2.5B contract for the production of 20 P-8A Poseidon aircraft. That's $125M per aircraft!  

A couple billion here, a few billion there and pretty soon you're talking real money!


  1. Is this weapons system cost? Flyaway cost?

    Still seems to be a bargain compared to the H-53K!


    1. I don't know. The contract announcement didn't break down the cost in any great detail but I gather it's somewhat of a system cost. In addition to manufacture and delivery, the announcement included additional costs for "obsolescence monitoring, change assessment, and integrated baseline/program management reviews".

      The contract was a modification to a previous fixed price contract (not really fixed is it?). The "other" stuff sounds like a way to pass on cost increases without violating the "fixed" price contract. Just speculating.

  2. Actually that does seem cheap ?

    I think that includes Australian ones, is the UK's in that too do we know ?

    Although the UK government said they are buying 8 "soon", I didn't think they meant next Thursday ?

    1. The contract was for 16 to the USN and 4 to Australia.

  3. DefenseNews is reporting $2.5 billion for cost for the twenty ordered in Lot 3. They report Australia's total budget is $2.15 billion for their program, a total of eight (last four included in current lot 3) plus option for additional four. So the flyaway cost of a P-8A at $125M just under half of the cost required to make operationally effective.

    The Increment 2 adds the Lockheed multistatic active coherent(MAC)for ASW, under operational testing this year to be included.

    Increment 3 to be ready for 2020 not mentioned, if understand correctly sixth workstation is being activated to correct a deficiency in the baseline Increment 1 capability plus additional capabilities.

  4. Remember this is a 737 size aircraft, costing less than a current F-35! Compare the range and payload of the two to learn that for stand off warfare, the P-8 is far better. What we really need are the E-737 radar equipped versions that the Aussies have. Pair up an P-8 with an E-737 and you have a real sea patrol.

    Otherwise, our P-8s will get jumped and easily shot down all the time. For war with China, they'd need to stay 1000 miles away from any Chinese airbase or aircraft carrier lest shore radar see them and send out a fighter.

    P-8/E-737 pairs could make long screening flights ahead of carrier groups to prevent surprises.

    1. "For war with China, they'd need to stay 1000 miles away from any Chinese airbase or aircraft carrier lest shore radar see them and send out a fighter."

      Which leads one to ask what purpose they serve? There won't be too many enemy subs a thousand miles from the main conflict location so what will the P-8s be looking for?

      We've come to think of our AWACS, P-8s, UAVs, and tankers as invulnerable because it's been so long since we've fought a peer with the capability to kill them. What will our fighters do when their AWACS is suddenly a thousand miles away? What will our ships do when the P-8s are a thousand miles away? And so on.

    2. The E-737s have something like twice the detection range of a Hawkeye and more speed. They could see bombers that might carry dozens of anti-ship cruise missiles, and fighters in time to run for help. I'd put AMRAAMs on them (and on the Hawkeyes) for self-defense.

      But the idea is screening for subs and if enemy fighters appear, turn back to friendly ships and aircraft and sound the alarm. They can also escort strike packages much better than the lumbering Hawkeye.

      At the least, they would fly routine sweeps between Japan and the Phils for example just to see if any Chinese ships are trying to slip into the central Pacific and to detect long-range enemy strike aircraft. The P-8s can do this, but without a E-737 partner they are easily ambushed.


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