Canada and Poland joined a number of their NATO counterparts on a program which could result in a joint acquisition of new maritime anti-submarine and intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance aircraft.
At a signing ceremony at NATO headquarters in Brussels on February 15, defense ministers from France, Germany, Greece, Italy, Spain and Turkey welcomed Canada and Poland to the multinational effort on “Cooperation on Multinational Maritime Multi Mission Aircraft Capabilities” which will evaluate follow-on solutions for aging MPRA aircraft.
“This joint effort recognises the fact that the majority of Allies’ maritime patrol aircraft fleets will be reaching the end of their operational lives between 2025 and 2035“ said NATO Deputy Secretary General Rose Gottemoeller during the signing ceremony.
She further encouraged the participants to “push on to the implementation phase. The goal here isn’t just a drawing board design – we need a new generation of aircraft, in the air, fulfilling what is an increasingly important mission”.
The initiative offers participants the opportunity to adopt common solutions in this critical capability area. This will deliver better value for money, as well as operational benefits.
Since 2017, the six allies have started to define a common requirements document for future capabilities in this area, which should be completed in 2018.
Among the aircraft that could be chosen for the joint acquisition could be Boeing’s P-8 – which is being acquired jointly by the UK and Norway, Saab’s Swordfish MPA and the Airbus-developed A319 MPA.