Aerospace giant Boeing has signed agreements with several German industry actors in preparation for a potential German order of the P-8A Poseidon maritime patrol aircraft.
The US-based company said the documents signed on June 17 with ESG Elektroniksystem- und Logistik-GmbH and Lufthansa Technik outlined joint efforts to explore potential areas of collaboration in systems integration, training, support and sustainment work.
The German Navy is currently for a maritime patrol solutions after aborting a project to modernize its increasingly less reliable P-3C Orions, which were bought second-hand from the Dutch Navy in 2004.
Boeing’s announcement comes after the US State Department approved Germany’s potential purchase of five Poseidons for an estimated $1.77 billion in March this year.
Two months later Parliamentary State Secretary Thomas Silberhorn revealed that the option of purchasing modernized French Atlantique 2s as replacements for the troublesome Orions had been deemed an inadequate solution. This effectively left the Poseidon as the only known offer and viable solution. Silberhorn also added that the decision on an interim solution could be made during this legislative period, before the 2021 German federal election that is slated to take place in September this year.
Germany’s current purchase of an Orion successor is envisioned as an interim one, as the country has already entered into an agreement with France for the joint development of a next-generation Maritime Airborne Weapons System (MAWS). However, many have argued that Germany’s purchase of the Poseidon could put a wedge in the MAWS project.
“The P-8A Poseidon offers unique multimission aircraft capability and is the only aircraft in service and in production able to meet the full range of maritime challenges faced by European nations,” Boeing said in a release.
“With the P-8A, Germany will be able to leverage full integration and interoperability with NATO nations in the region. Additionally, the P-8A offers significant capability to meet Germany’s collective defense obligations as part of Germany’s NATO membership and commitment to EU defense and security, including the maritime domain.”
“Together with ESG and Lufthansa Technik, we will offer indigenous and cost-effective support, training and maintenance solutions that will bring the highest operational availability to the German Navy to fulfill their missions,” said Dr. Michael Haidinger, president of Boeing Germany, Central & Eastern Europe, Benelux & Nordics. “Our partnership with ESG and Lufthansa Technik is another testimony to who we are and how we operate in Germany. We are shaping meaningful and long-term industry partnerships that impact the local economy.”
Boeing, ESG and Lufthansa Technik have identified opportunities to collaborate in a number of areas and will explore these in more detail, including training and simulation, cyber security, systems integration, certification, environmental compliance, communications systems, electronic attack and electronic protect systems, aircraft and engine sustainment, component support services, predictive maintenance analysis and logistics services.
Other German companies that already supply components to the P-8A Poseidon include Aljo Aluminium-Bau Jonuscheit GmbH and Nord-Micro GmbH.