RAAF has taken delivery of six P-8A Poseidon aircraft from an overall order book of 12
Noteworthy the IOC for the 737-based maritime patrol and anti-submarine warfare aircraft came five months ahead of schedule, says defence minister Marise Payne.
The service has taken delivery of six P-8As from an overall order book of 12. The Poseidon is flown by the No. 11 sqn. based out of RAAF Edinburgh.
“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,” RAAF air marshal Leo Davies pointed out.
“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.”
Announced in early 2015, Plan Jericho emphasizes the seamless integration of airborne assets, as it continues to induct new platforms.
Canberra is committed to an eventual acquisition of the Northrop Grumman MQ-4C Triton, and has hinted that it could obtain “up to seven”.
The capability offered by the P-8A/Triton combination will replace the RAAF’s aged fleet of Lockheed AP-3C Orions.
Currently the RAAF has 11 in-service AP-3Cs, with five examples retired from September 2014 to December 2017.
The P-8A Poseidon uses advanced sensors and mission systems, including an advanced multi-role radar, high definition cameras, and an acoustic system with four times the processing capacity of RAAF’s current AP-3C Orions.
The first aircraft arrived in Canberra on Nov. 16 2016, with the remaining deliveries to be completed by March 2020.
The P-8A Poseidon is a modified Boeing 737-800ERX, bringing together a highly reliable airframe and high-bypass turbo fan jet engine with a fully connected, state-of-the-art open architecture mission system. This combination, coupled with next-generation sensors, will dramatically improve anti-submarine warfare (ASW) and anti-surface warfare (ASuW) capabilities.
Photo credit: Royal Australian Air Force
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