Norway has proposed replacing its aging fleet of Lockheed Martin P-3 Orions and Dassault DA-20 Jet Falcons with five new Boeing P-8 Poseidons, the country's minister of defense announced on 25 November.
The Norwegian government has set aside $1.5 billion to replace the six P-3s and three DA-20s. The contract will include aircraft, sensors, surveillance systems and anti-submarine weapons, Defence Minister Ine Eriksen Søreide says in a statement. Norway has scheduled the delivery between 2021 and 2022.
The P-8 announcement came a week after UK and Norway’s defense officials agreed on new Maritime Patrol Aircraft cooperation. During his visit to Norway’s Bodø Main Air Station, UK Defence Secretary Michael Fallon signed an agreement ensuring Norway’s support for UK exercises. British armed forces participate in winter exercises at 3 Commando Brigade in Harstad and Evenes and Joint Helicopter Command at Bardufoss.
The UK has ordered nine P-8s at a cost of £3 billion ($3.9 billion) over the next 10 years.
In a defense spending plan released in June, Norway proposed increasing its defense budget by NKr7.2 billion ($870 million) over the 2017-2020 period. In the same white paper, Norway also revealed plans to replace its fleet of P-3 Orions and phase out three of its DA-20 Falcons, which provide an electronic warfare and marine surveillance capability.