Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Norway eyes $1.15B order for Boeing P-8A Poseidon 'submarine-hunter' planes

Norway is planning to order five P-8A Poseidon submarine-hunting patrol planes from Boeing in a deal valued at $1.15 billion.

The P-8A Poseidon is a heavily militarized version of Boeing's 737-800ERX civilian passenger jet made at a top-secret manufacturing facility in Renton.

The deal likely will face only minor political opposition after Norway's parliament agreed to increase long-term military spending, Reuters reports.

The new Poseidon patrol planes will help Norway maintain its surveillance capacity as the country's maritime border with Russia has become a renewed focus following Russia's annexation of Ukraine's Crimea region, according to the news service.

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

Neighboring Sweden and Finland, two nations not in the NATO alliance, have also been worried about potential threats posed by by Russian submarines and other naval vessels.

According to Chicago-based Boeing, “ The P-8 is what is known as a Commercial Derivative aircraft, a process whereby a commercial airplane is converted for military purposes. In this case, the P-8 uses a first-in-industry in-line production process to capitalize on the efficiencies and streamlined production systems of the existing commercial 737 factory” in Renton.

(Angela Mueller - St Louis Business Journal / Puget Sound Business Journal)

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