Royal Norwegian Air Force’s first new P-8 Poseidon maritime patrol aircraft touched Norwegian ground for the first time at 21:30 Norwegian time on Thursday 24 February 2022. Thursday’s long-awaited arrival of the state-of-the-art maritime patrol aircraft, named “Viking”, marks a historic milestone. In total, Norway has bought five P-8 Poseidon aircraft. They will take over for today’s P-3 Orion and DA-20 in Norway. Earlier this year, the Norwegian F-35 took over the QRA mission for NATO from the same base. Until then, Norway’s now-retired F-16 had solved the QRA mission from Bodø Air Base. The new P-8 Poseidon will start patrolling Norway’s vast maritime areas in 2023. The main task of the P-8 Poseidon is to ensure maritime surveillance and to build situational awareness and understanding in the northern areas.
“This is a major goal that we have been working towards for a long time. For two years, we have been working on the project “Evenes airport”. It is great to finally get this aircraft home to Norway, says Eirik Guldvog, head of 133 Air Wing in the Royal Norwegian Airforce.
“It has been a very nice and long flight with Norwegian crew, for the first time on a Norwegian P-8 aircraft. The transfer from Seattle, USA went very well, and now we look forward to working further with testing and evaluation of the aircraft, getting the organization in place, and eventually receiving our next aircraft, so that the aircraft system will be operational at the planned time, says Per Jørgen Tiller, commander of 333 Squadron at Evenes Air Base.
On 29 March 2017, Norway signed a contract for five P-8As, to be delivered between 2022 and 2023. On 13 July 2021, Boeing rolled out the first P-8As Poseidon aircraft from the paint shop for Norway. The first aircraft was delivered on November 18, 2021. It will be operated by the 133 Air Wing, 333 Squadron at Evenes Air Station. Both the current P-3 Orions and the coming P-8 Poseidon are essential in this important mission. Future maritime patrol operations out of Evenes is an investment in the defense capability in the north, which is of great importance to both Norway and NATO, adapted to the current threats we are facing. The personnel at Andøya Air Base will continue Norway’s MPA missions with P-3 Orion until P-8 is ready to take over from 2023 on. Until then, 133 Air Wing and the 333 Squadron will launch a major test and evaluation program.
The Boeing P-8 Poseidon (formerly Multimission Maritime Aircraft) is an American maritime patrol aircraft developed and produced by Boeing Defense, Space & Security, modified from the 737-800ERX. It was developed for the United States Navy (USN). The P-8 operates in anti-submarine warfare (ASW), anti-surface warfare (ASUW), and shipping interdiction roles. It is armed with torpedoes, Harpoon anti-ship missiles, and other weapons, can drop and monitor sonobuoys, and can operate in conjunction with other assets, including the Northrop Grumman MQ-4C Triton maritime surveillance unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV). The P-8 is operated by the United States Navy, the Indian Navy (IN), the Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF), and the UK’s Royal Air Force (RAF). It has also been ordered by the Royal Norwegian Air Force (RNoAF), the Royal New Zealand Air Force (RNZAF), the Republic of Korea Navy (ROKN), and the German Navy.