The Royal Norwegian Air Force has taken delivery of its very first P-8A Poseidon. Based on the 737-800, this military variant’s primary role is maritime patrol, including submarine spotting. The aircraft was delivered on November 18th and is the first in an order of five.
A new type of Norway’s Air Force
The aircraft delivery, which took place on Thursday, was Norway’s first P-8A Poseidon and was part of a greater contract that was awarded to Boeing in 2019. According to Boeing reporting, the aircraft was officially completed the month prior.
As noted in The Defense Post, a $2.5 billion contract was given to the US planemaker to produce 19 P-8A Poseidon aircraft for three different military forces. These consist of the US Navy, the Royal Norwegian Air Force, and the UK’s Royal Air Force.
The deal has its roots further back, as in May 2018, the UK and Norway discussed plans for cooperation between their P-8 fleets, including the sharing of spares and training, as well as repair facilities.
Of the 19 aircraft ordered, 10 are for the US Navy, four will go to the UK, and five will go to Norway. In terms of finances, Norway’s portion was stated as $695 million, or 28% of the deal.
“Norway is responsible for large maritime areas in a strategically important part of the world, and the new P-8A Poseidon will represent a tremendous improvement in our ability to both protect our sovereignty and understand developments in these areas. Today’s delivery of our first P-8A is an important milestone in the modernization of Norway’s maritime patrol aircraft capability,” -Mette Sørfonden, director general of the Norwegian Defence Materiel Agency
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About Norway’s first P-8A
Boeing notes that Norway’s first P-8A aircraft is named Vingtor and is registered 9582. Set to be operated by 333 Squadron at Evenes Air Station, the aircraft was delivered to the NDMA (Norwegian Defence Materiel Agency) during a ceremony at the Museum of Flight in Seattle, Washington.
In two years, the new aircraft will begin taking over maritime patrol duties in Norway’s high north, along with other P-8As that will join Norway’s military.
Boeing notes that the four remaining aircraft are all “in advanced stages of production” and will be delivered to the NDMA in 2022. The P-8As will replace Norway’s P-3 Orions and DA-20 Jet Falcons.
“Norway joins seven other global customers that have selected or already operate the P-8 and benefit greatly from its long-range maritime surveillance and anti-submarine warfare capabilities. We look forward to enhancing our continued and enduring partnership with the U.S. Navy and the Royal Norwegian Air Force, and supporting the future fleet’s sustainment and training needs.” -Stu Voboril, vice president and program manager, P-8 Programs
Other customers of the 737-800 variant include the Royal Australian Air Force, the Indian Navy, and the United Kingdom’s Royal Air Force. Boeing states that the first deliveries to New Zealand, Korea, and Germany will take place in 2022, 2023, and 2024 respectively.
Have you ever seen a P-8 Poseidon for yourself? Share your experiences by leaving a comment.