The Norwegian Government has decided to buy five Boeing P-8A Poseidon maritime patrol aircraft (MPA) from the US for nearly $1.15bn.

The acquisition is awaiting final approval from parliament, which is expected in mid-December this year.

Norwegian Defence Minister Ine Eriksen Søreide said: "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."

He added: "The P-8A Poseidon is exactly what we need to maintain our important contribution to the alliance going into the future."

The new maritime patrol aircraft procurement will replace the Norwegian fleet’s six ageing P-3 Orions and three DA-20 Jet Falcons.

Delivery of the aircraft will start from 2021 to 2022.

The Poseidon aircraft is designed to detect, identify, track, as well as engage underwater targets while covering large expanses of ocean in a short time.

It will continue to provide data for analysis and decision makers, both in government and in the military commands, while catering for stability and predictability in Norway’s areas of interest.

Image: A P-8A Poseidon flies alongside a P-3C Orion. Photo: courtesy of US Navy photo by Liz Goettee.