Europe

Germany says to buy Boeing maritime patrol aircraft for 1.1 bln euros

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A U.S. Navy Boeing P-8A Poseidon maritime patrol aircraft takes part in the Malta International Airshow at SmartCity Malta outside Kalkara, Malta, September 23, 2017. REUTERS/Darrin Zammit Lupi

BERLIN, June 30 (Reuters) - Germany will purchase five Boeing (BA.N) P-8A maritime patrol aircraft for about 1.1 billion euros ($1.31 billion), the defence ministry said on Wednesday, confirming a Reuters report from earlier this month.

Following approval from the parliamentary budget committee, the contract will now be signed, said the ministry as Defence Minister Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer visited her counterpart in the United States.

"This procurement, with a volume of around 1.1 billion euros, serves the urgent need to maintain a capability for long-range maritime reconnaissance and airborne submarine hunting," said the ministry.

Kramp-Karrenbauer said she was optimistic that Boeing would be able to deliver the aircraft quickly despite its challenges on other defence programs, especially since there was no new development involved with the P-8A aircraft.

"It's something that we're buying off the shelf," she told reporters in Washington. "We're actually optimistic that we can complete the procurement relatively quickly."

Reuters this month reported that the parliamentary budget committee had approved the purchase. read more

The planes will provide an interim replacement for Germany's ageing fleet of Lockheed P-3C Orion aircraft.

Kramp-Karrenbauer said German remained wedded to developing a longer-term replacement together with France under the Maritime Airborne Warfare System program, or MAWS.

($1 = 0.8426 euros)

Writing by Madeline Chambers; Additional reporting by Andrea Shalal in Washington; Editing by Richard Chang

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