The Australian Department of Defence and Boeing Defence Australia have signed a contract for the next four years of sustainment for the Australian next generation of maritime patrol and response aircraft, the P-8A Poseidon.
Australia plans to operate a total of 15 P-8A Poseidon aircraft. 12 P-8A Maritime Patrol Aircraft have been approved for acquisition with an additional three aircraft subject to further government approval.
According to the Australian Air Force, the first aircraft will arrive in Canberra on 15 November 2016, with the remaining 11 aircraft to be delivered by March 2020. Initial Operational Capability (IOC) for the first eight P-8A’s is scheduled for the period 2017 – 2020.
Like the AP-3C Orions preceding them, the P-8A Poseidon’s will be based at RAAF Base Edinburgh.
“This contract continues to deliver on the Turnbull Government’s commitment to using Australia’s defence expenditure to the benefit of both Australia’s national security interests and the economic health of this important employment sector.
Developing this kind of indigenous capability – where we can maintain our own military hardware – is critical for our national security and is good for Australian jobs,” Minister for Defence Industry Christopher Pyne said.
“The P-8A is a world class Maritime Patrol and Response aircraft and Australian Defence industry support will be a critical enabler to our military’s operational capability in the region.”
“Importantly Australian defence industry involvement in the sustainment of this aircraft will provide regional support for the global P-8A fleet and has the potential to improve opportunities for Australian defence industry participation in future support activities.”