Germany, France eyeing joint development of new maritime patrol aircraft

Germany and France are looking to join forces in developing a new maritime patrol aircraft, according to a German defense ministry announcement.

The two countries’ defense ministers are scheduled to sign a letter of intent on April 27 for cooperation on the “Maritime Airborne Warfare System” project, as the undertaking is to be named.

The new aircraft is set to replace Germany’s P-3C Orion aircraft and France’s Breguet Atlantique 2 which are currently in service.

The new aircraft is to be ready to enter service by the time its predecessors start retiring. Both French and German MPAs are scheduled to retire in the early 2030s.

The announcement comes following a defense and security meeting in July 2017, during which France and Germany agreed to look into into a “European solution” for the renewal of their maritime patrol aircraft and to outline a mutual direction for the potential joint development by 2018.