|#7706 2022-01-03 GMT-5 hours|
Boeing announced that it had delivered the first of five Boeing P-8A Poseidon maritime patrol aircraft to the Norwegian Defence Materiel Agency (NDMA) that will be operated by the Royal Norwegian Air Force.
Norway's first P-8A aircraft, named Vingtor after the Norse god, was delivered to the NDMA during a ceremony at the Museum of Flight in Seattle, U.S. state of Washington on November 18, 2021.
The first aircraft delivery comes four years after the NDMA entered into an agreement with the U.S. Navy for the P-8A, and two years before the new aircraft are scheduled to begin taking over maritime patrol duties in Norway’s high north.
The assembly phase of the first P-8A aircraft took place in April 2021 when its fuselage arrived at Boeing facilities in Washington from Spirit AeroSystems in Wichita, Kansas.
Vingtor’s maiden flight took place in August 2021 when it flew from Renton Municipal Airport (RNT) to Boeing Field in Seattle.
In total, The Royal Norwegian Air Force (RoNAF) is to receive five P-8As from Boeing, with the remainder to be named Viking, Ulabrand, Hugin, and Munin, all names of Norse gods, and names that have been previously given to Norway's PBY-5 Catalina maritime patrol aircraft.
According to Boeing, Norway’s four remaining P-8As are all in advanced stages of production and will be delivered to the NDMA in 2022.
“We’re honored to provide this unmatched, multimission maritime patrol capability to Norway,” said Stu Voboril, Boeing’s vice president and program manager, P-8 Programs said in a statement.
“Norway joins seven other global customers that have selected or already operate the P-8 and benefit greatly from its long-range maritime surveillance and anti-submarine warfare capabilities. We look forward to enhancing our continued and enduring partnership with the U.S. Navy and the Royal Norwegian Air Force, and supporting the future fleet’s sustainment and training needs.”
The five new P-8As will replace the RNoAF current fleet of six P-3 Orions and two DA-20 Jet Falcons and will be operated by 333 Squadron at Evenes Air Station.
“Norway is responsible for large maritime areas in a strategically important part of the world, and the new P-8A Poseidon will represent a tremendous improvement in our ability to both protect our sovereignty and understand developments in these areas. Today's delivery of our first P-8A is an important milestone in the modernization of Norway’s maritime patrol aircraft capability,” said Mette Sørfonden, director general of the Norwegian Defence Materiel Agency.
“I’m very pleased that the NDMA will soon be able to provide the Norwegian Armed Forces with a whole new generation of aircraft that will play an important role in preserving our national security for many years to come.”
Boeing also said that the delivery to Norway marks the 142nd P-8 aircraft delivered to global customers, including the U.S. Navy, the Royal Australian Air Force, the Indian Navy and the United Kingdom’s Royal Air Force.
First deliveries of the P-8 aircraft to New Zealand, Korea and Germany will take place in 2022, 2023 and 2024 respectively.
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