The US State Department has approved the potential acquisition by Germany of five Boeing P-8A Poseidon maritime ISR aircraft.
A March 12 notification by the US Defense Security Cooperation Agency (DSCA) says the acquisition – valued at US$1.77bn (€1.48bn, A$2.28bn) – includes the five aircraft and a full suite of communications and navigation systems, sensors, and electronic warfare self-protection systems. Also included are initial training, training devices, initial spares, technical publications, ground support equipment, logistics support, and aircraft ferry support.
Germany’s Bundeswehr currently operates seven former Dutch P-3C Orions which replaced Breguet Atlantique maritime patrol aircraft in service in the early 2000s. The P-3Cs were to receive a structural and mission system upgrade, but this project was reportedly abandoned in 2020 after just two aircraft were completed following an economic feasibility study.
Other types reportedly also under consideration by the Deutsche Marine to replace the P-3Cs was an interim type such as the Airbus C295M MPA or the Rheinland Air Service RAS 72 version of the ATR 72, and a proposed A320M3A MPA version of the Airbus A320neo airliner.
If the acquisition progresses, Germany will join the US Navy, India, Australia, the UK, South Korea, New Zealand, and Norway as current or future P-8 operators.