Press release | Date: 01/12/2016
The Norwegian Government decided 25th November to procure five P-8A Poseidon for delivery in 2021 to 2022. The decision taken in the Government has been proposed to the Parliament, which is expected to reach a resolution regarding the procurement mid December.
Minister of Defence, Ine Eriksen Søreide, is pleased with the decision: "The new maritime patrol aircraft will be a formidable tool for surveillance of our vast maritime areas in the north. Norway has an important task in maintaining the situational awareness in national and adjacent waters, both on and below the surface, on behalf of the Alliance. The maritime domain is becoming more important as we speak."
Norwegian maritime areas are vast, and about seven times its land mass. These areas are now regarded with increasingly strategic importance in NATO, and this trend is expected to continue.
Norway has upheld the task of maintaining maritime Situational Awareness in the north with a high degree of regularity since 1961, when the Albatross aircraft was introduced. The regularity, reach and capability to perform underwater surveillance increased substantially with the introduction of the P-3B Orions in 1969, and the updates in the P-3Cs, introduced in Norway in 1989, was necessary to cope with new underwater technology.
The five P-8A Poseidon will replace the six ageing P-3 Orions, and three DA-20 Jet Falcons, and will again provide a giant technological leap in the domain of maritime surveillance. The maritime patrol aircraft will continue the provision of data for analysis and decision makers, both in government and in the military commands, into the future.
The regularity of Norwegian presence in the north with maritime patrol aircraft, will continue a familiar and well known scheme of operations in our maritime surroundings. The visual presence of Norwegian aircraft in areas of interest caters for stability and predictability in the region.
Although maritime surveillance has been a high priority for the Norwegian Armed Forces for more than fifty years, the new security situation prompts increased requirements with regards to situational awareness. "The P-8A Poseidon is exactly what we need to maintain our important contribution to the alliance going into the future", Defence Minister Eriksen Søreide adds.