Germany’s Ministry of Defense signed a letter of offer and acceptance (LOA) on June 30 to procure five Boeing [BA] P-8A Poseidon maritime patrol aircraft under the U.S. Foreign Military Sales (FMS) program.

According to the German Ministry of Defence, the Bundreswehr, the deal is worth about 1.1 billion Euros or $1.3 billion. This agreement came after the German parliament formally approved the procurement of the five aircraft on June 24.

Boeing said this order will make Germany the eighth customer for the P-8A after the U.S., Australia, India., New Zealand, Norway, South Korea and the United Kingdom.

“Boeing is honored to provide Germany with the world’s most capable maritime surveillance aircraft. We will continue to work with the U.S. government, the German government and industry to establish a robust sustainment package that will ensure the German Navy’s P-8A fleet is mission ready,” Michael Hostetter, Boeing Defense, Space and Security vice president in Germany, said in a statement.

Germany has been looking for a new naval patrol aircraft to replace its aging fleet of P-3C Orions and a five unit order of P-8As seemed a likely interim solution. Germany and France are also working on a separate cooperative program called the Maritime Airborne Warfare Systems (MAWS), but it is not expected to produce a new option until at least 2035. Germany needs to replace its Lockheed Martin [LMT] P-3Cs within only a few years.

The Bundreswehr said in a statement that after it completed modernization measures on its fleet of P-3Cs last year, it was threatened with a “capability gap that could not be tolerated.”

The ministry called the P-8As a “powerful interim solution” to maintain the ability to carry out long-range airborne submarine hunting and reconnaissance capabilities from 2025 to 2035. Thereafter, it expects the MAWS projects to take over.

In March, the U.S. State Department approved a potential $1.7 billion FMS for five P-8As to Germany. In the announcement, the Defense Security Cooperation Agency said Germany planned to retire its fleet of P-3Cs in 2024 while new P-8As could help sustain maritime surveillance for another 30 years (Defense Daily, March 12).

Michael Haidinger, president of Boeing Germany, Central and Eastern Europe, Benelux and the Nordics, underscored this deal allows the company to expand its collaboration with German companies.

“Bringing this capability to Germany is not possible without the contributions of German industry. With the P-8A, we will expand our collaboration with German companies, create new jobs and contribute to long-term local economic growth,” Haidinger said.

This comes after earlier this month Boeing signed agreements with ESG Elektroniksystem- und Logistik-GmbH and Lufthansa Technik outlining joint efforts to support the then-potential P-8A selection (Defense Daily, June 17).

Other German companies that already supply parts for the P-8A include Aljo Aluminum-Bau Jonischeit GmbH and Nord-Micro GmbH