German MoD press release – Translated by Naval News
The Budget Committee has approved the necessary funding for the Eurofighter Typhoons. The budget also includes funding for the Boeing P-8A Poseidon, long-range maritime reconnaissance, and anti-submarine warfare aircraft – the successor to the P-3C Orion – as well as ammunition for the Leopard 2 main battle tank and clothing management.
The previously approved June 2021 procurement of five P-8A Poseidon aircraft as temporary replacements for the P-3C Orion will be increased. The Budget Committee has now approved additional funding for training and spare parts for the introduction of the new anti-submarine warfare and maritime patrol aircraft.
The German Navy currently deploys the P-3C Orion, which is scheduled to be retired in 2025, in the Mediterranean Sea as part of the EUNAVFOR MED Irini mission. To avoid a capability gap in long-range airborne anti-submarine warfare and long-range maritime reconnaissance, the five P-8A Poseidon aircraft from U.S. manufacturer Boeing are to step in as an interim solution from the end of 2024.
The German-French cooperation project Maritime Airborne Warfare System (MAWS) pursues the system-of-system approach in the long term.
Government buys from government
The German Navy is expected to operate the Poseidon from late 2024 to 2035. In addition to the procurement already ordered through a Government Purchase Agreement with the U.S., the budget now approved includes some necessary additional services. As announced in June 2021, the original agreement includes flight crew and aircrew training, initial spares requirements, support services and future software updates. The additional funding has a volume of around €341.8 million.
In addition, the capability spectrum of the Eurofighter weapon system is to be expanded. To this end, the NATO management agency NETMA (NATO Eurofighter & Tornado Management Agency) has concluded a contract for a consolidation package with Eurofighter-Flugzeug GmbH on behalf of the German Armed Forces. The contract is worth 242 million euros.
The package is intended to upgrade the Eurofighter’s armament, communications systems and friend-or-foe detection system. It also involves eliminating weaknesses in various systems on the fighter jet and expanding and meeting legal requirements. In addition, the multinational armaments project aims to create a common certification basis by bringing the various construction stages up to a uniform development standard.
The aim is to unify the rest of the development package in the Eurofighter program by mid-2022 at the latest. Overall, this will create the basis for future developments so that the Eurofighter can be in service by the mid-2050s.
Follow-up solution for clothing management
Another topic was the follow-up solution for Bundeswehr’s clothing management. Following the Defense Committee, the Budget Committee has also approved a contract worth around 6.89 billion euros. This means that GmbH will remain a wholly-owned company that supplies soldiers and civilian personnel with clothing and personal equipment.
Continuation in an optimized form means that the services provided so far are continued without interruption. In addition, the basis for the early procurement of new protective vest systems, combat clothing, combat helmets, and rucksacks with a total volume of around €2.4 billion remains in place. The current schedule calls for these items to be procured by 2031. By the end of 2025, enough material is to be delivered to ensure that the active force is fully equipped.
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Comments on Germany’s P-8A Poseidon procurement
The German Ministry of Defense signed a letter of offer and acceptance for five Boeing P-8A Poseidon aircraft under the U.S. government’s Foreign Military Sales (FMS) process in July 2021. Boeing received the contract one month later. Officially, these aircraft are an “interim solution”.
The impact of this Poseidon procurement on the Franco-German MAWS program is anyone’s guess. Officially, Germany wants to keep on working with France on the program. According to our information however, the German Navy need for MAWS aircraft is for the early 2040ies. That’s much later than the French Need to replace ATL2 maritime patrol aircraft in the early 2030ies. France’s Dassault Aviation is said to be working on an alternative to MAWS based on the Falcon 10X long range business jet.