German Orion P-3C withdrawal: a threat to the Franco-German MAWS program

As we learn Naval News, still extremely well informed on naval matters, the German Defense Ministry has just announced that it has put an end to the modernization program for the eight P-3C Orion maritime patrol aircraft in service in the German Navy. Considered to be too costly and too risky, this modernization program should quickly give way to the acquisition of new maritime patrol aircraft.

The decision to withdraw the Orions in 2025 at the latest, rather than from 2035, could however have very serious consequences for the MAWS program (Maritime Airborne Warfare System) jointly led by France and Germany. Indeed, Berlin and Paris had decided a few years ago to jointly replace their maritime patrol aircraft between 2035 and 2040. It was indeed on this date that the French and German navies had to withdraw from service, respectively, their Atlantique 2 and P-3C Orion modernized.

Purchased second-hand in the early 2000s, the eight German Orions already have a long operational career behind them. Their modernization was considered too risky and too expensive to be really profitable.

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