According to Norwegian daily Klassekampen though, part of the expenditure is placed under the Intelligence Service budget. Despite the Norwegian government's pledges to increase the defense budget by 180 billion NOK (over $21 billion) over the next 20 years, individual acquisitions may still constitute classified information.
In the case of the notorious Poseidon deal, information about the aircraft's sensors and equipment was considered highly sensitive and thus kept hidden both from parliament and the Norwegian public, despite the fact that the Finance Ministry specifically requests all public procurements exceeding 750 million NOK ($88 million) to undergo external quality assurance, which was clearly ignored this time.
"We have papers here dealing with tens of millions, which are the size of a bible. Here, we have a billion investment which only is described in a few sentences," Trine Skei Grande told Klassekampen, venturing that Norway previously burnt its fingers on major defense investments with a poor foundation in parliament.
The five P8 Poseidons will replace the fleet of six P3 Orions currently in service. The first planes are expected to land on Norwegian soil in 2022. The aircraft will be used for monitoring the waters off Norway's coast, particularly following the activity of Russian submarines.
In the fall of 2016, the Orion generation of surveillanceaircraft was reported to be struggling with discovering the newest Russian submarines. Following a "submarine pursuit" in Vestfjord outside the city of Bodø, which was much less known than the Swedish 2014 submarine hunt, yet equally fruitless, a US P8 Poseidon surveillance aircraft landed for the first time at Andøya Air Station, which later proved to be a field power display.
The Boeing P8 Poseidon is a maritime surveillance aircraft developed for the United States Navy and is designed for anti-submarine warfare, anti-surface warfare and shipping interdiction. It is seen as a replacement for the Lockheed P-3 Orion and its multiple variants.
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