In a strategic alliance, GE Aerospace and StandardAero have joined forces to bolster the Royal Canadian Air Force’s (RCAF) multi-mission aircraft (CMMA) requirement by supporting the Boeing P-8A Poseidon. 

This partnership ensures the reliability of the P-8’s CFM56-7B engines but also fuels economic growth and job creation in Canada, according to a study by Doyletech Corporation.

The P-8A Poseidon, based on the 737-800 ERX, relies on the CFM56-7B engines, which CFM International, a joint venture between GE Aerospace and Safran Aircraft Engines, produces. 

Canada’s homegrown solution

If selected for the CMMA requirement, these engines will benefit from the full spectrum of maintenance, repair, and overhaul (MRO) capabilities offered by StandardAero’s facility in Winnipeg. This alliance ensures that the RCAF will operate a multi-mission aircraft supported directly from Canada.

What makes this collaboration significant is the potential economic windfall for Canada. According to an independent study by economists at Ottawa-based Doyletech Corporation, the selection of the Boeing P-8A Poseidon for the CMMA requirement could generate nearly 3,000 jobs and infuse $358m (C$483m) into Canada’s economy annually.

In GlobalData’s Analyst Briefing: Canada Considering P-8A Poseidon Purchase from Boeing worth around $6 billion, Harpreet Sidhu, Associate Defense Analyst at GlobalData, explained the purchase, “The Canadian government expressed its desire to replace the existing fleet of CP-140 Aurora maritime patrol aircraft with a new Canadian Multi-Mission Aircraft (CMMA).

In line with the modernisation requirement, the country is considering purchasing 14 units of P-8A Poseidon maritime patrol aircraft from Boeing to replace its ageing 14 units of CP-140 maritime aircraft. The acquisition of P-8A aircraft will enhance Canada’s capabilities for maritime surveillance, anti-submarine warfare, and gathering intelligence in its regions of interest.”

Reliability redefined

StandardAero, which has held a license as an MRO provider for CFM56 engines since 2010, has a track record of overhauling more than 700 of these engines, including over 100 CFM56-7B engines installed on P-8 aircraft for global military customers at its Winnipeg facility. 

President of StandardAero’s Military division Marc Drobny expressed confidence in their ability to support the RCAF, saying, “The Winnipeg operation is one of North America’s leading engine overhaul facilities and is our largest site, supporting more than 1,200 workers.”

The CFM56 engine family holds a distinction in aviation history as the first to achieve over 1.2 billion engine flight hours. The CFM56-7B, in particular, has a dispatch reliability rate of 99.98%. This reliability has made it a favoured choice among 600 airline and military operators worldwide.

Kris Shepherd, vice president and general manager of GE Aerospace Mobility Engines & Marine, affirmed GE’s commitment, stating, “GE is honoured to support Boeing’s bid for the Canada Multi-Mission Aircraft requirement.”

As long-term partners, GE and StandardAero inaugurated a $50m aircraft engine testing, research, and development centre in Winnipeg in 2012. The 122,500 square foot facility is at the James A. Richardson International Airport. StandardAero maintains and operates the certification test centre under a long-term contract.

Moreover, StandardAero’s strong rapport with GE Aerospace extends to supporting the CT7/T700 engine platforms on the Canadian Military EH101 Cormorant and CH-148 Cyclone Helicopters. This collaborative history shows their readiness to fulfil Canada’s CMMA requirement while ensuring the RCAF remains mission-ready.