Although the German government has not yet formalized an agreement, the choice of the P-8A Poseidon jet as a replacement for the P-3 Orion maritime patrol turboprops is increasingly evident.
The announcement of the signing of a memorandum between Boeing and the German companies ESG and Lufthansa Technik in order to study the offer of technical support and training for the aircraft is yet another indication that the acquisition could be near.
“The signed memorandum of understanding may lead to more definitive agreements should Germany select the P-8A Poseidon as its next maritime surveillance aircraft,” Boeing said.
Preference for P-8
The German Navy operates eight P-3C Orion that were used by the Netherlands after the retirement of the first generation Atlantiques.
France and Germany intend, however, to carry out the Maritime Airborne Warfare System (MAWS) program, a submarine warfare variant of the Airbus A320neo. The lack of perspective on the project led the Germans to seek an interim solution after giving up on refurbishing the Orion turboprops.
In April, the French government offered four recently upgraded ATL 2 Standard 6 turboprops, but the German Navy considered the proposal insufficient as the aircraft have old airframes and engines.
The P-8A, on the other hand, is already well underway thanks to the US government’s authorization to supply five units to Germany.
A recent document from the German Armed Forces confirmed the preference for the Boeing aircraft by stating that “only the P-8A Poseidon weapon system could ensure a seamless and timely capability transition if the Foreign Military Sales contract was concluded before the summer break in 2021.”