In the same week that Boeing was awarded a $2.2 billion contract for up to 17 P-8As for three different nations, Norway announced it is ordering five Poseidons.
Minister of Defense Ine Eriksen Søreide announced the order March 29 in Oslo, according to a Norwegian ministry of defense news release April 4.
“We have now signed the contract for five new P-8A maritime patrol aircraft. The procurement is underlining Norway’s allied commitment to spending on defense capabilities vital to both NATO and Norway,” said Defense Minister Ine Eriksen Søreide.
The P-8As will be delivered in 2022 and 2023 under a contract of approximately 10 billion krone (about $1.2 billion) according to the release. The P-8s will replace six aging P-3 Orions and three Jet Falcons.
“The new maritime patrol aircraft will be a formidable tool for surveillance of our vast maritime areas in the north. Norway has an important task in maintaining the situational awareness in national and adjacent waters, both on and below the surface, on behalf of the Alliance. The maritime domain is becoming more important as we speak,” Søreide said in December 2016, after parliament approved the purchase.
Norway has traditionally had a strong maritime patrol capability, with territorial waters seven times the size of the nation’s landmass, and the Russian Kola peninsula nearby, home to submarines and other units of the Russian Northern Fleet.