Norwegian Armed Forces press release translated by Naval News
The arrival of the state-of-the-art maritime surveillance aircraft, named “Viking”, marks a historic milestone.
“This is a long-term goal. We’ve been working on this construction project at Evenes airport for just over two years, and it’s great to finally bring the plane home to Norway”
Eirik Guldvog, Head of 133 Air Wings
Great technological leap
Norway’s new state-of-the-art maritime surveillance aircraft, the P-8 Poseidon, will begin patrolling sea areas in 2023. The primary mission of P-8 Poseidon is to maintain maritime surveillance and to assist in the development of situational awareness in Norwegian local areas. Today’s P-3 Orion and the future P-8 Poseidon are critical components of this critical mission. Continued MPA operations at Evenes entails an investment in the north’s defense capability, which is critical to Norway and NATO, and is adapted to the current threat landscape.
“Norway and NATO are celebrating the arrival of the first maritime patrol aircraft, which will provide us with a modern and significant capability in the north. Together with the F-35, the Armed Forces now possess two strategically significant capabilities that will cooperate to defend Norway.”
Rolf Folland, Chief of the Air Force.
The Andya personnel will continue MPA deliveries using the current P-3 Orion until P-8 is ready to take over. Now, 133 air wings and the squadron environment will be responsible for testing and evaluation, followed by the operationalization of the aircraft in 2023.
During the day, the personnel at P-3 Orion put in an incredible effort with continuous operational deliveries. They will remain our primary maritime aircraft capability until the P-8 takes over, according to Rolf Folland.
Numerous employees in the defense sector, both internal and external, have worked extremely hard to facilitate the arrival of P-8 Poseidon. A hearty salute and thank you to everyone in the department who contributed to this, air wing commander Guldvog concludes.
Although the P-8A has sufficient range to fly directly from Seattle to Evenes, the crew decided to make a stopover in Canada. Due to the fact that this was the first long flight with a Norwegian crew in a brand-new type of aircraft, “Viking” was subjected to much stricter restrictions on the return journey than will be the case once the aircraft is placed into operational service.
“It was a very pleasant and lengthy flight with Norwegian crew, on a Norwegian P-8 aircraft for the first time. The transfer from Seattle, USA, went extremely well, and we now look forward to continuing testing and evaluation of the aircraft, establishing the organization, and eventually receiving the next aircraft, to ensure that the aircraft system is operational on time.”
Per Jrgen Tiller, Commander of 333 Squadron at Evenes Airport.
On March 1, an official ceremony will be held at Evenes Airport, with the participation of Norway’s top political and military leadership.