Germany looks set to acquire the Boeing P-8A Poseidon maritime ISR aircraft after €1.4bn (A$2.2bn) in funding was approved by the German government.
The approval has been rushed through because an offer from the US for five P-8As was reportedly due to expire at the end of June. Unless new orders are received, P-8A production is due to wind down in 2023/24, so Germany and other nations considering the aircraft need to get in soon.
The German Navy currently operates four former Dutch Lockheed P-3C Orions which are rapidly nearing the end of their service lives, and the P-8A acquisition is seen as an interim buy pending the development of a new Franco-German maritime patrol aircraft in late 2030s.
Other European P-8A operators include the UK and Norway, the aircraft is also operated by Australia, India, South Korea, and the US, and New Zealand has four P-8As on order.
UPDATE: Boeing announced on June 30 that Germany has signed a letter of offer for five P-8As.
“Boeing is honoured to provide Germany with the world’s most capable maritime surveillance aircraft,” Boeing Defense, Space & Security vice president in Germany, Michael Hostetter said in a company statement.
“We will continue to work with the US 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.”