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ILA 2022: German Navy recommits to MAWS for long-term airborne maritime patrol requirement, interim P-8A programme on track

A model of the P-8A Poseidon in German markings displayed at ILA 2022. (Janes/Gareth Jennings)

The chief of the German Navy's aviation component has reiterated his commitment to the Maritime Airborne Warfare System (MAWS) that is earmarked to be the long-term airborne maritime patrol solution following confirmation that the service is on course to receive the first of five interim Boeing P-8A Poseidon maritime multimission aircraft in 2024.

Speaking at the ILA Airshow on 23 June, Kommandeur Marineflieger, Sea Captain Thorsten Bobzin, said he is pleased that the P-8A programme is within the timeframe first set out by Boeing but that it remains an interim solution with the Franco-German MAWS set to come online from 2035.

“P-8A deliveries are due to begin in October 2024 and run through to mid-2025. That is within the indicated timeline, and I am very happy with that,” he said. “This is an interim solution between [the current Lockheed] P-3C and the MAWS. We will have the interim solution for a gap of about 10 years, from 2025 to 2035,” he added.

With five P-8As under contract, the German government recently announced that further maritime patrol aircraft would be acquired under the EUR1 billion (USD1.05 billion) Söndervermögen (special fund) uplift in national defence spending that was introduced on the back of Russia's invasion of Ukraine in February. National media have reported that this will translate into seven additional aircraft for a final fleet of 12 P-8As.

“I am very happy with the decision to procure more maritime patrol aircraft, but we will have to see how that plays out,” Capt Bobzin said.

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