The Russian Navy has recently resumed large-scale submarine exercises in the North Atlantic after a long hiatus. The U.K.’s defense secretary says Russian subs are “circling Britain’s entire coastline.” Unfortunately, the maritime patrol aircraft of America’s European allies have declined markedly in quantity and quality since the Cold War ended, and the U.S. Navy has plenty of other places around the world it would need to cover in wartime. Although many European nations would prefer a local solution, they recognize a near-term answer is needed until a European patrol plane can be developed. Britain and Norway have signed up to buy the same system the U.S. Navy operates, called the P-8 Poseidon. Other countries should follow their example, and probably would if the Biden administration sent a signal that modernizing maritime patrol aircraft should be a priority. Doing so would help address an emerging threat, promote alliance interoperability and bolster U.S. manufacturing. I have written a commentary for Forbes here.
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