The first of five Boeing P-8A Poseidon aircraft for Norway performed its maiden flight on August 9. The aircraft took off at 10:03 a.m. Pacific time and flew for 2 hours, 24 minutes, reaching a maximum altitude of 41,000 feet during the flight from Renton Municipal Airport to Boeing Field in Seattle.
The first flight marks the next phase of the production cycle of this aircraft as it is moved to the installation and checkout facility, where mission systems will be installed and additional testing will take place before final delivery to the Norwegian Defence Materiel Agency (NDMA) later this year.
“This inaugural flight is an important milestone for Norway, and the Boeing team remains committed to delivering the P-8 fleet to the NDMA on schedule,” said P-8 Europe programme manager, Christian Thomsen. “The P-8 is a capability that will help Norway improve anti-submarine warfare, anti-surface warfare, intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance, and search-and-rescue missions, in addition to fostering valuable regional collaboration and interoperability with NATO nations.”
The five P-8As will eventually replace Norway’s current fleet of six P-3 Orions and three DA-20 jet Falcons. The Royal Norwegian Air Force currently operates its P-3s from Andoya Air Station. With the introduction of the P-8s, flight operations will move to new facilities at Evenes Air Station.
To date, Boeing has delivered 136 P-8 aircraft to the US Navy, the Royal Australian Air Force, the Indian Navy and the United Kingdom’s Royal Air Force. Norway is one of eight nations that have selected the P-8A as their maritime patrol aircraft, along with the United States, India, Australia, the United Kingdom, South Korea, New Zealand and Germany.
The Indian Navy took delivery of the 10th of 12 Boeing P-8I Poseidon on July 13, l2021. The aircraft delivered was the second of a follow-on order placed in July 2016 and on April 30, 2021, the government ordered a further six aircraft, under a $2.42 billion deal. In July 2018 the New Zealand government announced an order for five P-8As under a Foreign Military Sales (FMS) contract with the US Navy, with deliveries set to begin to the Royal New Zealand Air Force in 2022. The Republic of Korea Navy is expected to begin receiving the first of at least six P-8As in 2023. –shp/kf/aaa (Photo: Boeing)