Boeing press release
The signed memorandum of understanding may lead to more definitive agreements should Germany select the P-8A Poseidon as its next maritime surveillance aircraft.
“Together with ESG and Lufthansa Technik, we will offer indigenous and cost-effective support, training and maintenance solutions that will bring the highest operational availability to the German Navy to fulfill their missions. Our partnership with ESG and Lufthansa Technik is another testimony to who we are and how we operate in Germany. We are shaping meaningful and long-term industry partnerships that impact the local economy.”Dr. Michael Haidinger, president of Boeing Germany, Central & Eastern Europe, Benelux & Nordics.
Boeing, ESG and Lufthansa Technik have identified opportunities to collaborate in a number of areas and will explore these in more detail, including training and simulation, cyber security, systems integration, certification, environmental compliance, communications systems, electronic attack and electronic protect systems, aircraft and engine sustainment, component support services, predictive maintenance analysis and logistics services.
“This cooperation agreement underlines once again that we take our responsibility seriously when it comes to ensuring urgently needed capabilities. As Boeing’s strategic partner for the P-8A Poseidon fleet, we are pleased to be able to make the Bundeswehr a viable offer characterized by effectiveness, efficiency and the reliable delivery of services. As a long-standing partner of the German Bundeswehr and Navy aviators, ESG stands ready with its proven core competencies, solutions, services and products, particularly in the areas of systems integration, aviation certification and secure communication systems.”Christoph Otten, CEO of ESG.
Lufthansa Technik has a long history in technical support of Boeing airplanes around the world. In addition, under Boeing’s Performance-Based Logistics program, Lufthansa Technik also provides hardware support to the Italian fleet of Boeing KC-767A tankers and has facilitated outstanding aircraft availability for the Italian Air Force.
“Lufthansa and Lufthansa Technik are partners with Boeing for more than 60 years. The companies know and value each other. This partnership is an excellent starting point for us to provide technical support at the highest level for this new aircraft, should our long-standing customer, the German Bundeswehr, procure P-8A.”Michael von Puttkamer, Head of Special Aircraft Services, Lufthansa Technik.
The P-8A Poseidon offers unique multimission aircraft capability and is the only aircraft in service and in production able to meet the full range of maritime challenges faced by European nations. With the P-8A, Germany will be able to leverage full integration and interoperability with NATO nations in the region. Additionally, the P-8A offers significant capability to meet Germany’s collective defense obligations as part of Germany’s NATO membership and commitment to EU defense and security, including the maritime domain.
Other German companies that already supply components to the P-8A Poseidon include Aljo Aluminium-Bau Jonuscheit GmbH and Nord-Micro GmbH.
Naval News comments
For the record, the German Federal Ministry of Defence (MoD) announced in June 2020 that it was ending the modernization plan of the P-3C ORION maritime patrol aircraft (MPA) ahead of schedule.The MoD cited “costs and technical difficulties” as the reasons that lead to the decision which will result in a “capability gap” which “cannot be accepted”. The Bundeswehr said at the time that it was conducting a market survey taking into account all platforms available on the market. The German MoD statement at the time also added that “this analysis will also evaluate all interactions with the Franco-German cooperation project Maritime Airborne Warfare System (MAWS)”
Questions remain on whether this P-8A procurement plan, which has yet to be approved by the budget commission and supported by the parliament, will truly be a “temporary stop-gap” solution… or a full fledged alternative to the MAWS program.
However, Boeing’s P-8A Poseidon was not the only platform being considered. The Bundeswehr last year started exploring new acquisitions to replace all current P-3C MPAs set to be retired by 2025 (instead of 2035 initially). The stop-gap platforms being considered were:
But, this emerging partnership between American and German industrials suggest that P-8 Poseidon has the preference of the German Navy.
Naval News previously reached out to Johannes Peters, Researcher, Center for Maritime Strategy and Security at the Institute for Security Policy at Kiel University (ISPK), in a previous interview, to get a “local and informed opinion” about German choice in MPA renewal program. According to him, P-8 Poseidon would be the best solution to fill German needs. “P-8 would mean filling the gap not only with a stand in but with a leap forward in regard of capabilities. Both operationally and tactically,” Peters said.