Norway Becomes Fourth International Customer for Boeing’s P-8ABy RICHARD R. BURGESS, Managing Editor
ARLINGTON, Va. — The Norwegian government has chosen the Boeing P-8A Poseidon maritime patrol aircraft to replace its P-3 Orions, becoming the fourth foreign customer for the Poseidon.
The Norwegian government announced in a Nov. 28 release that it proposes purchasing five P-8s to replace the six P-3s operated by the Royal Norwegian Air Force. The purchase is up for approval by the Norwegian Parliament.
Earlier this year, the United Kingdom approved the purchase of five P-8As for the Royal Air Force. Both Norway and the United Kingdom have extensive coastlines and maritime interests. Their air forces fielded important maritime patrol assets for NATO during the Cold War, and the resurgence of Russian naval activity is spurring more interest in maritime patrol capabilities. Norway’s geographic position along the Russian navy’s transit routes make its surveillance capabilities advantageous for NATO in tracking Russian movements, just as it did during the Cold War.
The Royal Australian Air Force took delivery last month of the first of eight P-8As ordered (of 15 planned) to replace its AP-3C Orions. The Indian Navy was the first non-U.S. operator of the aircraft, calling its version the P-8I Neptune, and has taken delivery of eight, with an order of four more planned.