Norway plans $1.15 billion order for five Boeing Poseidon military aircraft

By Reuters - November 29, 2016
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OSLO — Norway plans to order five Boeing Co P-8A Poseidon maritime patrol planes to maintain its surveillance capacity and meet future security challenges, the NATO country’s Defense Ministry said.

Following an agreement in Norway’s parliament to boost long-term military spending, the 9.83 billion Norwegian crowns ($1.15 billion) purchase will likely face only minor political opposition.

A U.S. Navy P-8A Poseidon maritime patrol aircraft takes part in the Malta International Airshow off SmartCity Malta, outside Valletta, Malta, September 24, 2016. (Darrin Zammit Lupi / Reuters)
A U.S. Navy P-8A Poseidon maritime patrol aircraft takes part in the Malta International Airshow off SmartCity Malta, outside Valletta, Malta, September 24, 2016. (Darrin Zammit Lupi / Reuters)

Norway’s long maritime border with neighboring Russia has become a renewed focus for the country’s military planners following the Russian annexation of Ukraine’s Crimea region. Norway’s territorial waters also stretch far into the Arctic.

[Russia puzzled at Norway’s decision to allow stationing of U.S. troops in 2017]

Neighboring Sweden and Finland, which are not in the NATO alliance, have also expressed concerns about incursions by Russian submarines and other naval vessels.

“The new security situation increases our demand for situational awareness in our own vicinity. The ability to handle current and future challenges must therefore be strengthened,” Defense Minister Ine Eriksen Soereide said.

[Finland plans to set up center to counter ‘hybrid’ threats]

“The introduction of the Poseidon aircraft is crucial for Norway to maintain a leading position and expertise on strategic conditions in northern areas,” she said in the statement released late on Friday. The statement did not specifically mention Russia.

The submarine-hunting patrol planes will replace Norway’s current fleet of six P-3 Orion and three DA-20 Jet Falcon aircraft and are expected to be delivered in 2021 and 2022. Norway will also buy related intelligence equipment, the ministry said.

Reporting by Joachim Dagenborg.

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