Germany approved to buy Boeing P-8A Poseidon maritime patrol aircraft

Boeing P8A Poseidon Germany
Boeing P-8A Poseidon maritime patrol aircraft.

Germany began evaluating a new maritime patrol aircraft last summer after a study showed the defense how cheaper it was to introduce new systems than to upgrade and maintain the current P-3C Orion fleet. This document examined the Airbus C-295 MPA, Rheinland Air Service RAS 72, and Boeing P-8A Poseidon aircraft.

Germany's new plan is to introduce a new state-of-the-art MPA in 2024 to coincide with the end of service of the Orion, which will be retired 10 years ahead of schedule. In addition to Western aircraft, Berlin has also considered the Japanese Kawasaki P-1, but it appears that the latter was discarded due to the long type certification times.

No further news later emerged regarding the German program until March 12 when the US State Department announced the approval of a possible Foreign Military Sale (FMS) to Germany of the Boeing P-8A Poseidon.

According to the notice, the German government has asked to purchase five P-8A Poseidon maritime patrol aircraft plus related support and equipment for a deal worth $ 1.77 billion. This potential sale will allow Germany to modernize and sustain its maritime surveillance aircraft (MSA) capability for the next 30 years.

The choice of the Poseidon is related to the studies that France and Germany started at the end of last year on the development of a new Maritime Airborne Warfare System (MAWS). It foresees the joint development between the two nations of a new aircraft to replace the French Navy's Atlantique 2 fleet and the German Navy's P-3C Orion fleet. If Berlin decides to stay on the program, it is more likely to select a cheaper aircraft, such as the RAS 72 and C-295 MPA, as an interim solution until the new MAWS enters service. The selection of the more expensive Poseidon would instead confirm Germany's decision to exit the project.

Written by Matteo Sanzani

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