bikerthai wrote:Question is, have those P-3's been operating with allies beyond the German border?
If not, is it because of politics or availability? I mean if Germany wants to be more prominent in international endeavors, then the P-8A would be an easy deployment that is highly valued and can seamlessly integrate into any international search and rescue or disaster relief operations.
Yes, they have. As posted earlier, the P-3 has been used as part of EU and NATO missions in the Mediterranean and Indian Ocean and also regularly partakes in NATO excercises. It's mostly limited by availability: 2-3 aircraft are generally in heavy maintanance and another 2-3 are not fully mission capable due to minor issues. So assuming that 1 aircraft must remain for German coastal patrol duties, that leaves only 1-2 aircraft for long term deployments.
I agree that the P-8 would provide a good way to participate in international operations without lethal weapons. It can be redeployed to new locations quickly, it can cover large areas and it has a very wide range of sensors.