Boeing surveillance plane contract worth $900M to B.C.

Dec 1, 2023

Photo: Boeing

Kelowna’s KF Aerospace among B.C. companies to benefit from new P-8A Poseidon procurement

B.C. companies that provide services and supplies to Boeing (NYSE:BA) will benefit from close to $1 billion in spending on the new P-8A Poseidon surveillance plane procurement program. Canada’s Department of National Defence today announced a $10.4 billion procurement program to replace Canada’s fleet of CP-140 Aurora surveillance planes with up to 16 Boeing P-8A Poseidon multi-role surveillance planes, which can be armed with anti-ship missiles and anti-submarine torpedoes. The new fleet of surveillance planes will be based in B.C. at 19 Wing Comox and in Nova Scotia at 14 Wing Greenwood. Canada expects to start taking delivery of the new planes in 2026.

“These aircraft are not just airplanes, but complex weapon systems capable of transporting and launching multiple sonobuoys, torpedoes, and anti-ship weapons to protect Canada’s water on all three coasts,” DND said in a press release.

There are already 46 Boeing suppliers and contractors in B.C., 12 of which are P-8A suppliers, like KF Aerospace. The Kelowna-based company provides maintenance, manufacturing and installation of Boeing products. Boeing also has its Aerospace Digital Solutions Centre in Richmond. Through the Canadian P-8A procurement program, Boeing expects to spend $2.5 billion in Western Canada, about $920 million on which would be spent in B.C. KF Aerospace will be one of the recipients of P-8A contract work.

“They are already providing some work that we are increasing through this plan on the Boeing converted freighter program,” said Jeff Hurst, Boeing’s director of international strategic partnerships for Canada. “We’re also positioning them for some of the in-service support work on the Canadian P-8 fleet.”

Boeing will also make a $50 million investment in its digital centre in Richmond to fund “aerospace scope artificial intelligence R and D.”

Boeing estimates that the P-8A program for Canada will sustain 3,000 jobs Canada-wide and add $358 million to the Canadian economy.

(This story has been updated with a correction to the investment value Boeing will make in its digital centre in Richmond.)

(Source: Business in Vancouver BIV, Nelson Bennett)

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