Jan. 26 (UPI) -- Defense procurement chiefs from Britain and the United States signed an accord to strengthen maritime aviation ties with the P-8A Poseidon patrol aircraft.
The agreement was signed by U.K. Defense Procurement Minister Harriet Baldwin and U.S. Deputy Defense Secretary Bob Work. Under the terms, armed forces from the two countries will share logistics and support bases to optimize the use of the P-8A, which Britain expects to receive in 2019.
The officials maintain both governments will save taxpayer money through the agreement, as well as make maritime patrol missions more effective.
"The United States is our pre-eminent ally in global defense and collective security," Baldwin said in a press release. "This declaration is further evidence of how our two countries continue to cooperate and build mutual security, particularly in the North Atlantic region."
Britain has purchased nine Boeing-made P-8A planes, which will be based Lossiemouth, Scotland. Defense officials say the aircraft will improve the country's surveillance capabilities, as well as conduct anti-submarine and anti-surface warfare missions in addition to intelligence gathering operations.
The P-8A Poseidon is the U.S. Navy's latest maritime patrol aircraft, and a follow-up to the P-3C Orion. The branch has 50 of the planes in its fleet, but plans to boost that number to 109.
The aircraft is powered by two CFM 56-7B engines with 27,300 pounds of thrust each, and can reach airspeeds of 564 miles per hour.