This was first announced via a tweet by the Federal Ministry of Defense (abbreviated BMVg) and subsequently confirmed with a tweet by the head of the Naval Aviation of the German Navy:
“What a day! With the decision to procure 5 P-8A as an interim successor for P-3C, the Naval Aviation has a great perspective & the future of the German Navy the airborne ASW ensured. Thanks to all supporters! It is now important for us to build up surgical skills quickly. Challenge accepted!”
CMD Thorsten Bobzin, head of the German Navy’s Naval Aviation
As previously reported by Naval News, the P-8A Poseidon was already being considered as the best choice among other offers including the C295 Persuader from Airbus, the RAS-72 Sea Eagle from RAS and second-hand Atlantique 2 from the French Navy as an interim solution to the replacement of the soon P-3C Maritime Patrol Aircraft retirement.
Indeed, Boeing signed agreements on June 17. with ESG Elektroniksystem- und Logistik-GmbH and Lufthansa Technik “to explore potential areas of collaboration in systems integration, training, support and sustainment work” suggesting that P-8 Poseidon was already on track.
Moreover in a previous interview, Naval News reached out Johannes Peters, Researcher, Center for Maritime Strategy and Security at the Institute for Security Policy at Kiel University (ISPK), to get a “local and informed opinion” about German choice in MPA renewal program. According to him, P-8 Poseidon was 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.
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)”.
However, Germany’s choice of the P-8A Poseidon over the French solution calls into question the entire Franco-German MAWS program. Remains the question if P-8A MPA would be effectively interim or a long-term solution. The latter burying the cooperation project between France and Germay to replace their MPAs.