The Norwegian Defense Materiel Agency (NDMA) accepted the first of five Boeing [BA] P-8A Poseidon maritime patrol aircraft, the company said Nov. 18.

This first P-8A, named Vingtor, was delivered to the NDMA during a ceremony held at the Museum of Flight in Seattle. This comes two years before the P-8A fleet is expected to start taking over maritime patrol duties for the Royal Norwegian Air Force.

The delivery came over four years after the U.S. State Department approved a $1.75 billion Foreign Military Sale for the five P-8As in late 2016 (Defense Daily, Dec. 22, 2016).

In 2017, the U.S., U.K., and Norway signed a P-8A partnership establishing a framework for cooperation in readiness, enhancing defense capability and interoperability (Defense Daily, June 30, 2017).

Norway intends for the P-8As to start taking over Norway’s high north patrols in two years when they take over from the current fleet of six legacy Lockheed Martin [LMT] P-3C Orions and two Dassault Falcon 20s.

Boeing said the four other Norwegian-bound Poseidons are in advanced stages of production and will be delivered to the NDMA in 20222. The aircraft will be operated by the Royal Norwegian Air Force’s 333 Squadron at Evenes Air Station

The company noted Norwegian companies Nammo, Kongsberg Defence & Aerospace, Andoya Space and Berget have agreements with Boeing as part of an industrial cooperation plan connected to the P-8As. 

“Norway is responsible for large maritime areas in a strategically important part of the world, and the new P-8A Poseidon will represent a tremendous improvement in our ability to both protect our sovereignty and understand developments in these areas. Today’s delivery of our first P-8A is an important milestone in the modernization of Norway’s maritime patrol aircraft capability,” Mette Sørfonden, director general of the NDMA, said in a statement.

“I’m very pleased that the NDMA will soon be able to provide the Norwegian Armed Forces with a whole new generation of aircraft that will play an important role in preserving our national security for many years to come,” she added.

The five Norwegian P-8s are named after Norse mythological figures in Vingtor, Viking, Ulabrand, Hugin and Munin. 

Boeing noted the first Norwegian P-8A is the 142nd overall P-8 delivered. Other customers include the U.S. Navy,  Royal Australian Air Force, the Indian Navy and the United Kingdom’s Royal Air Force. Initial deliveries to New Zealand, South Korea and Germany are scheduled for 2022, 2023 and 2024, respectively.