Boeing has announced that Royal Norwegian Air Force’s (RNoAF) first P-8A Poseidon aircraft has conducted its first flight.
In its maiden flight, the aircraft travelled from Renton Municipal Airport to Boeing Field in Seattle. It flew for two hours 24 minutes and reached a maximum altitude of 41,000ft.
The milestone comes nearly a month after Boeing rolled out the aircraft from its paint shop in Renton, US.
Notably, Boeing will be delivering five P-8A Poseidon aircraft to Norway.
The maiden flight of the first P-8A Poseidon marks the commencement of the next phase of the production cycle of the unit.
The aircraft was moved to the Installation and Checkout facility where it will be equipped with mission systems. It will also undergo additional testing before it is delivered to the Norwegian Defence Materiel Agency (NDMA) later this year.
Boeing P-8 Europe programme manager Christian Thomsen said: “This inaugural flight is an important milestone for Norway, and The Boeing team remains committed to delivering the P-8 fleet to the NDMA on schedule.
“The P-8 is a capability that will help Norway improve anti-submarine warfare, anti-surface warfare, intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance, and search-and-rescue missions, in addition to fostering valuable regional collaboration and interoperability with Nato nations.”
The five P-8As will replace Norway’s current fleet of six P-3 Orions and three DA-20 Jet Falcons.
RNoAF operates its P-3s from Andoya Air Station. However, flight operations will be transferred to the new facilities at Evenes Air Station after the P-8As are inducted into the fleet.
Norway is one of eight nations to have selected the P-8A as its maritime patrol aircraft. The other countries are the US, India, Australia, the UK, Korea, New Zealand and Germany.