Berlin: Germany will purchase five Boeing P-8A maritime patrol aircraft for about 1.1 billion euros ($1.31 billion), the defence ministry said, confirming a report from earlier this month.
Following approval from the parliamentary budget committee, the contract will now be signed, said the ministry as Defence Minister Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer visited her counterpart in the United States.
“This procurement, with a volume of around 1.1 billion euros, serves the urgent need to maintain a capability for long-range maritime reconnaissance and airborne submarine hunting,” said the ministry.
Kramp-Karrenbauer said she was optimistic that Boeing would be able to deliver the aircraft quickly despite its challenges on other defence programs, especially since there was no new development involved with the P-8A aircraft. “It’s something that we’re buying off the shelf,” she told reporters in Washington. “We’re actually optimistic that we can complete the procurement relatively quickly.”
The planes will provide an interim replacement for Germany’s ageing fleet of Lockheed P-3C Orion aircraft.
Kramp-Karrenbauer said German remained wedded to developing a longer-term replacement together with France under the Maritime Airborne Warfare System program, or MAWS.