The German defense ministry has confirmed the purchase of Boeing’s P-8A Poseidon as its interim maritime patrol aircraft.
Germany kicked off the procurement on June 30, during a visit by German defense minister Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer to her US counterpart Lloyd Austin in Washington.
The two sides signed a letter of acceptance and agreement on the occasion, while the procurement is expected to be completed by the end of the year.
Kramp-Karrenbauer expressed her delight about the purchase of the five new maritime patrol aircraft. The US will now begin its so-called “foreign military sales” process. One of the next steps is to sign the actual contract, worth about 1.1 billion euros.
In March this year, the US State Department approved Germany’s purchase of the aircraft and associated support for an estimated $1.77 billion.
“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 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.”
The company announced earlier this month that it would work with ESG Elektroniksystem- und Logistik-GmbH and Lufthansa Technik on delivering the submarine hunters to Germany.
The Poseidon will serve as an interim solution and a successor to the German Navy’s P-3 Orions. While Germany declared the Poseidon as an interim solution, because it has already entered into an agreement with France on the joint development of a next-generation Maritime Airborne Weapons System (MAWS), many have argued that Germany’s purchase of the Poseidon could put a wedge in the MAWS project.
With its order, Germany becomes the eighth customer of the multimission maritime surveillance aircraft, joining the United States, Australia, India, the United Kingdom, Norway, Korea and New Zealand.