The $13.6 million deal was announced by the US Department of Defense on April 29,2020. The procurement of the single CFM56-7B27AE engine is part of a larger firm-fixed-price contract to support the evolving needs of the United Kingdom Royal Air Force fleet of Boeing P-8A Poseidon MRA1 maritime multi-mission aircraft (MMA).
This order follows the acceptance on February 4th 2020 of the first of nine P-8A Poseidon aircraft due to join the RAF. According to the contract announcement, the work to produce the engine will be split equally between France’s SAFRAN (formerly SNECMA) based at Villaroche near Paris in France, and US-based General Electric’s Durham North Carolina plant.
The Boeing P-8A aircraft is a military reconfiguration of the highly versatile Boeing 737-800ER passenger jet. The P-8A is built primarily to conduct anti-submarine and anti-surface warfare in addition to being a long range maritime surveillance aircraft.
While its mission architecture is built around the Raytheon APY-10 multi-mission surface search radar, it can airdrop sonobuoys for submarine detection. It is also armed with the Harpoon AGM-84D anti-ship missile and the Mk 54 air-launched lightweight torpedo. In additon to the United Kingdom, the aircraft is also due to operate in the United States, South Korea, Norway, New Zealand, India and Australia.