Australia’s P-8A maritime patrol aircraft reaches Initial Operating Capability

Australia’s P-8A Poseidon maritime patrol and reconnaissance aircraft achieved Initial Operating Capability, Australia’s defense minister Marise Payne has announced.

Minister Payne congratulated the Air Force and the defense department’s Capability Acquisition and Sustainment Group (CASG) on achieving the milestone five months ahead of schedule.

“Together the P-8A Poseidon and the future MQ-4C Triton aircraft will provide Australia with one of the world’s most advanced maritime patrol and surveillance capabilities,” minister Payne said.

“The P-8A is a very capable and effective successor to the AP-3C Orion, which will soon retire from the role after nearly 40 years of distinguished service.

Chief of Air Force, Air Marshal Leo Davies, said declaring IOC was a significant milestone because the P-8A is a fundamental element of Australian Defence Forces future maritime strategy.

“The arrival of the P-8A has allowed Air Force, under Plan Jericho, to develop and evolve new operating concepts, support arrangements and sustainment options,” Air Marshal Davies said.

“These will best exploit the P-8A’s sensors and networking as part of integrated Navy and Air Force integrated Maritime Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance Family of Systems.

To date, six of Australia’s 12 P-8As have arrived in Australia, operated by Number 11 Squadron from RAAF Base Edinburgh in South Australia.

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