The government has signed a memorandum of new surveillance aircraft with a price tag of 11 billion kroner, writes the newspaper Klassekampen.
What the newspaper knows, is that the Ministry of Defence has signed a secret letter of intent for the purchase of the surveillance planes P8 Poseidon.
We are talking about very advanced etterretningsfly produced by US Boeing, which will replace the old Orion aircraft. In June newspaper VG wrote that the six Orion aircraft will be replaced with four new maritime patrol aircraft.
The information comes at the end of an ongoing budget dispute over Norwegian defense capability, contributing to concerns that the traditional system becomes impaired, according to the newspaper. In October last year the defense chief Haakon Bruun-Hanssen recommended because of “economic reasons” that “ambition airborne long-range underwater surveillance and -warfare are given a lower priority.”
The new aircraft will be in addition to the 180 billion the defense chief believes he needs the next 20 years. The purchases will be made from 2020.
Defense Ministry would not confirm or deny Klassekampen’s information.
Source: NTB scanpix / Norway Today