As the Farnborough air show kicks off in south England on Monday, the United Kingdom announced it was buying almost $6.2 billion worth of military aircraft from Boeing Co. in at least two separate deals. The Chicago aerospace company will supply nine P-8A Poseidon maritime patrol aircraft to the U.K.’s Royal Air Force (RAF) and 50 of the latest generation Apache attack helicopters to the British army, the Ministry of Defense announced.
The deal for the nine Poseidon surveillance aircraft — it is based on Boeing 737 — is for about 3 billion pounds ($3.87 billion) over 10 years and deliveries are expected to start in 2019 or 2020. The cost includes “paying for the people, their training, the infrastructure and necessary support at RAF Lossiemouth” in Scotland where the new aircraft will be based, theministry said on its website, adding that the planes, “manufactured by Boeing, are being purchased from the US Government via a Foreign Military Sale.”
The new AH-64E model of the Apache attack helicopter is capable of carrying “more weapons while being more fuel efficient” and 50 of them are also “being purchased via a Foreign Military Sale with the United States Government.” The first choppers from the $2.3 billion deal “are due off the US production line in early 2020 and will begin entering service with the British Army in 2022,” according to the U.K.’s defense ministry.
Boeing also announced it would increase its research and development spending in the U.K. as well as create 2,000 new jobs in the country. Some of the jobs would be linked to the new orders it has won, such as “a new 100 million pound P-8A operational support and training base at RAF Lossiemouth in Scotland, creating more than 100 new jobs,” to be built jointly by the company and the government. Additionally, Boeing will also “make the U.K. a base for defence exports to Europe and the Middle East, increasing U.K. employment, investment and tax revenue,” a statement on the Ministry of Defense website said.