As expected, Boeing will supply five P-8A Poseidon jets to the German Navy. The European nation’s Defense Ministry signed a letter of offer and acceptance of maritime patrol aircraft on Wednesday, the US manufacturer said.
The aircraft, based on the 737-800NG jetliner, will replace eight end-of-life P-3C Orion turboprops. These planes were transferred by the Netherlands and replaced the Bréguet Atlantic turboprop in 2005.
“Boeing is honored to provide Germany with the world’s most capable maritime surveillance aircraft,” said Michael Hostetter, Boeing Defense, Space & Security vice president in Germany. “We will continue to work with the U.S. government, the German government and industry to establish a robust sustainment package that will ensure the German Navy’s P-8A fleet is mission ready.”
In addition to the Aljo Aluminum-Bau Jonischeit GmbH and Nord-Micro GmbH companies already participating in the program, Boeing recently signed an agreement with Lufthansa Technik and ESG Elektroniksystem- und Logistik-GmbH to provide aircraft support and training in Germany.
The announcement of the sale through the US government’s Foreign Military Sales (FMS) process frustrates France’s efforts to maintain its partnership with the Germans in the MAWS (Maritime Airborne Warfare System) program, which includes the development of a multimission maritime surveillance aircraft based on the A320neo.
Although the agreement between the two countries is still in force, the introduction of the modern P-8A could make the German Navy not in such a hurry to count on the future aircraft.
Months ago, the French government made a proposal to sell four ATL 2 turboprops used by the country’s navy, but Germany would have considered these planes also outdated, although they have received new avionics.
With the addition of Germany, there are already eight customer countries of the P-8A Poseidon, United States, Australia, India, the United Kingdom, Norway, Korea and New Zealand.