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Germany approves three more Poseidon MMAs

An artist's impression of the Poseidon in German service. (Boeing)

Germany is increasing its buy of Boeing P-8A Poseidon maritime multimission aircraft (MMA), with a further three aircraft approved by the country's government.

Kommandeur Marineflieger, Sea Captain Broder Nielsen, confirmed the additional purchase on 17 November, saying, “The budget committee of the Bundestag has approved the procurement of three more P-8A Poseidons. A good and important decision for the operational capability of German naval aviation.”

News of the approval came some 17 months after Capt Nielsen's predecessor, Capt Thorsten Bobzin, confirmed in June 2022 the plan to increase the Marineflieger's Poseidon buy from five aircraft as part of a wider increase in the national defence budget, specifically the EUR100 billion (USD109 billion) Söndervermögen (special fund) uplift following Russia's invasion of Ukraine.

While this increase will take the Marineflieger's Poseidon fleet to eight airframes, German national media had previously said that as many as seven more aircraft might be added for a final fleet of 12, though this now seems unlikely given wider budgetary pressures.

The first five Poseidon aircraft will be delivered to Germany by the end of October 2024.

With the greatest maximum take-off weight of any dedicated MPA on the market (85,139 kg), the P-8A is equipped with the Raytheon AN/APY-10 maritime surveillance radar and L-3 Wescam MX-20HD digital electro-optic/infrared sensors primarily. It has the capacity for 126 sonobuoys and can carry the full panoply of anti-submarine and anti-surface weaponry in its internal weapons bay as well as on underwing hardpoints. In the main cabin, there is provision for seven mission crew members at six workstations, although there is plenty of room and the necessary power and cooling for expansion.

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