The UK Ministry of Defence (MoD) has contracted Boeing Defence UK (BDUK) to support the British Royal Air Force’s (RAF) fleet of Poseidon MRA1 maritime patrol aircraft.

The five-year aircraft and training support contract is valued at $321.6m (£233.5m).

Boeing Defence UK will provide maintenance services, spares and repairs, including tools and ground support equipment.

Furthermore, the company will provide supply chain management (SCM), forecasting and inventory management, as well as airworthiness services for the P-8A fleet.

The contract’s training element will provide a set of systems and courseware to prepare aircrew and maintainers to effectively operate and maintain the fleet.

Boeing will also provide flight instructors for training P-8 pilots.

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The latest contract awarded to BDUK is expected to create 150 jobs in the UK, including around 100 jobs at RAF Lossiemouth.

UK Defence Secretary Ben Wallace said: “Our new Poseidon fleet continues to grow from strength to strength and is already defending the UK’s maritime interests at home and abroad.

“This contract with Boeing Defence UK secures our critical submarine-hunting aircraft capabilities whilst also creating a home-grown training enterprise and creating over 150 British jobs.”

The RAF is on contract for nine P-8A aircraft with five already delivered and the remaining four scheduled for later this year.

The P-8A is a long-range anti-submarine and anti-surface warfare (ASW) aircraft used by the US Navy.

It is a military derivative of the Boeing 737 Next-Generation aeroplane.

P-8A Poseidon is operated by RAF, while the other variant P-8I is flown by the Indian Navy.

Boeing Defence UK managing director Anna Keeling said: “The P-8A Poseidon brings the RAF critical reconnaissance capabilities, and we are proud to be a trusted partner in helping to keep RAF aircrew trained, and the P-8A mission ready.”

In March, Boeing received a production contract from the US Navy for 11 P-8A aircraft.