The Royal Australian Air Force’s first P-8A Poseidon arrived at its new home at RAAF Base Edinburgh on 25th November. Number 92 Wing will operate Australia’s newest maritime surveillance aircraft, which will support a full range of tasks, including anti-surface and anti-submarine warfare; maritime and overland intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance; electronic support; and a search and rescue capability.
This is the first of 15 aircraft the Government committed to in the 2016 Defence White Paper, with 12 already contracted to be delivered by March 2020.
Minister for Defence Industry, the Hon Christopher Pyne MP, said the Poseidon would be maintained at RAAF Base Edinburgh under a $41.3m contract that will create 32 highly skilled jobs over the next four years.
During the Air Force’s transition to the P-8A Poseidon, the AP-3C Orion will continue to operate from RAAF Base Edinburgh, providing maritime surveillance operations across the globe.
The acquisition includes development and sustainment cooperation with the U.S. Navy and will keep the RAAF P-8A at the forefront of maritime patrol aircraft innovation for years to come.
The 15 P-8A Poseidons and up to seven MQ-4C Triton unmanned aircraft will together provide an advanced maritime surveillance capability to replace the ageing AP-3C Orion platform.