After months of consideration, the Norwegian government is on the verge of placing an order for P-8A Poseidon reconnaissance aircraft.
"To continue a maritime surveillance capability that can meet current and future challenges, the Government proposes to acquire five P-8A Poseidon maritime patrol aircraft for the Armed Forces," the Norwegian Defense Ministry said in a statement attributed to Defence Minister Ine Eriksen Soreide. "P-8A Poseidon is a formidable platform for monitoring our oceans, and will provide both Norwegian and allied civil and military authorities with a sound basis for decisions. With modern sensors and weapons, the new Poseidon aircraft continue and improve this capability."
The market news outlet Seeking Alpha first reported that the Defense Ministry of Norway has confirmed plans to buy five of the Boeing-made planes, a $1.15 billion purchase.
The aircraft would replace Norway's six Lockheed Martin-made P-3C Orion aircraft and three DA-20 Falcons, jets made by the French company Dassault. The contract for the Poseidon aircraft also includes sensors, surveillance systems, anti-submarine weapons and support systems, according to the release. Norwegian officials did not provide a timeline for delivery of the aircraft.
Military.com first reported in July that Norway was exploring the possibility of buying the maritime patrol aircraft, one of a number of allied countries in the process of acquiring it. The P-8, which is based on Boeing's 737 commercial airliner, already flies with the U.S. Navy, and the Indian Navy, while Royal Australian Air Force just received delivery of its first of 12 aircraft. The United Kingdom also purchased 9 P-8s this year to shore up its maritime defenses.
Speaking at the Farnborough International Air Show in July, P-8 program manager Navy Capt. Tony Rossi said he believed every country flying the P-3C Orion, a predecessor to the Poseidon, was a potential customer for the newer aircraft.
In all, 17 nations in addition to the U.S. fly or have flown the Orion.