“Boeing, over the past few years, has been active with Norwegian industry, which has demonstrated that it has a robust and highly capable defense sector that can support our business,” said Maria Laine, Boeing Vice President, International Strategic Partnerships.
“The size, scope and strategic value of our collaboration opportunities reinforce our commitment to Norway, and our promises of industrial agreements,” she added.
The MoU agreement with Kongsberg involves maintenance and support for Norway’s future P-8 fleet. The transition from P-3 Orion to five new P-8 Poseidon operating from Evenes Air Base will entail a need for a new center for production and maintenance, as well as additional training facilities within the Norwegian aviation industry.
“We are very pleased to expand our close cooperation with Boeing by including support for the Norwegian P-8 fleet, with the possibility of further expansion in the future. Collaboration with international platform suppliers is of strategic importance for Kongsberg. It ensures continuity and preparedness in Norway, and gives Konsberg further export opportunities,” Terje Bråthen, Division Director at Kongsberg Defense & Aerospace AS, declared.
Boeing and Kongsberg’s collaboration relies on 20 years of shared work with the NATO’s fleet of AWACS aircraft, and will be able to be lifted further through the P-8A Poseidon maritime surveillance aircraft that Norway acquired in 2017.
About the P-8A MPA
The P-8A is a long-range multi-mission maritime patrol aircraft capable of broad-area, maritime and littoral operations. A military derivative of the Boeing Commercial Next-Generation 737 airplane, the P-8A combines superior performance and reliability with an advanced mission system that ensures maximum interoperability in the battle space.
The P-8A is militarized with maritime weapons, a modern open mission system architecture, and commercial-like support for affordability. The aircraft has been modified to include a bomb bay and pylons for weapons – two weapons stations on each wing – and can carry 129 sonobuoys. The aircraft is also fitted with an in-flight refueling system. With more than 180,000 flight hours to date, P-8 variants, the P-8A Poseidon and the P-8I, patrol the globe performing anti-submarine and anti-surface warfare; intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance; humanitarian; and search and rescue missions.
Norway is one of six international customers for the P-8A Poseidon, with the first aircraft delivery expected in 2022. The first British Poseidon MRA Mk1 took flight for the first time in mid-July 2019. As a direct commercial sale, India has received eight of the P-8I variant to date with four more in production. The U.S. Navy is on contract to receive 111 with the potential for additional quantities based on the fleet’s needs. As a cooperative partner with the Maritime Patrol and Reconnaissance Program Office, Australia began receiving their P-8A aircraft in 2016 with eight delivered and four more in production; both New Zealand and South Korea have signed agreements with the U.S. Navy to purchase four and six aircraft respectively.