A P-8A Poseidon maritime patrol aircraft prepares to land at Misawa Base, Japan, Oct. 5, 2020.
The U.S. Defense Security Cooperation Agency (DSCA) said Friday (March 12) that the U.S. State Department has approved the sale of five P-8A maritime anti-submarine patrol aircraft and related support and equipment, among others, to the German government at an estimated cost of $1.77 billion. The military sale has now been sent to the U.S. Congress.
“This proposed arms sale will support U.S. foreign policy and national security and improve the security of NATO allies,” the DSCA said in a statement.
“NATO is a vital force for political and economic stability in Europe,” the statement said, “and this proposed arms sale will improve Germany‘s ability to respond to current and future threats by providing critical capabilities for the alliance’s maritime operations.”
According to aviation analysis firm Cirium, Germany’s current maritime patrol aircraft, eight Lockheed P-3C Orions, have an average age of 37.8 years.
DSCA said, but the aircraft is nearing the end of its service Life, will be retired in 2024, Germany plans to use the “P-8A Poseidon maritime patrol aircraft” to be replaced, so that Germany can have a modern maritime reconnaissance capabilities in the next 30 years.
The DSCA added that the main contractor for the project is Boeing in Seattle, Washington, and that the sale of the equipment will not change the basic military balance in the region.
In addition to the five P-8A ASW patrol aircraft, Germany has requested the Joint Tactical Radio System 5 (MIDS JTRS5), Tactical Open Mission Software (TOMS), MX-20HD electro-optical/infrared sensors, Raytheon AN/APY-10 surveillance radar, other subsystems, support equipment, and related maintenance, logistics, and training operations, according to the statement.
A P-8A patrol aircraft forms a formation with a U.S. warship for maritime security operations in the Caribbean Sea, May 11, 2020. (U.S. Navy)
In addition to NATO missions, Germany could use the P-8A maritime patrol aircraft to track Russian ships and submarines in the North Sea, Baltic Sea and other waters, among others.
Boeing’s P-8A patrol aircraft, according to FlightGlobal, have been sold to the Indian Navy, Royal Australian Air Force, Royal New Zealand Air Force, Royal Norwegian Air Force, South Korean Navy, British Royal Air Force and U.S. Navy, among others.